Skip to main content

Selective Draft Law Cases Arver v. United States 245 U.S. 366 (1918)

SELECTIVE DRAFT LAW CASES Arver v. United States 245 U.S. 366 (1918)

In 1917, Congress authorized conscription as a means of rapidly increasing the strength of the armed forces. All males between twenty-one and thirty were to register for the draft, and up to one million were selectively to be called up. The six petitioners were all convicted of failure to register.

A unanimous Supreme Court, speaking through Chief Justice edward d. white, rejected each of several constitutional arguments against the draft law. Since the power to raise armies is specifically granted, the Court held that Congress might adopt any means necessary to call the required number of men into service. Compulsion might be used since "a governmental power which has no sanction to it … is in no substantial sense a power." A number of ingenious arguments based on the historic nature and uses of the militia were rejected because the power to raise armies is distinct from the militia clause.

For the argument that conscription violated the thirteenth amendment, White had only eloquent scorn: "We are unable to conceive upon what theory the exaction by the government from the citizen of his supreme and noble duty of contributing to the defense of the rights and honor of the nation … can be said to be the imposition of involuntary servitude."

Dennis J. Mahoney
(1986)

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Selective Draft Law Cases Arver v. United States 245 U.S. 366 (1918)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Selective Draft Law Cases Arver v. United States 245 U.S. 366 (1918)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 18, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/selective-draft-law-cases-arver-v-united-states-245-us-366-1918

"Selective Draft Law Cases Arver v. United States 245 U.S. 366 (1918)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Retrieved November 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/selective-draft-law-cases-arver-v-united-states-245-us-366-1918

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.