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National Student Association, et al. v. Hershey

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National Student Association, et al. v. Hershey is a government misconduct case which challenged the Selective Service Director’s orders to draft all men who took part in anti-war campaigns.


By 1969, there was an increased amount of nationwide movements where the government violently responded to protestors. The government specifically targeted student anti-war movements, using the draft as a primary weapon to deny protesters their right to speak against the war. This was explicitly shown when Selective Service Director Hershey issued an order to all draft boards to immediately induct all men engaged in anti-war activities previously given student deferments.

The student movement responded to this obvious violation of First Amendment rights by joining in a broad-based lawsuit framed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) that was ultimately successful in challenging such reclassification. In addition, CCR successfully brought an action on behalf of men who had been ordered to report for induction because they had returned their draft cards to protest the war (Bucher, et al. v. Selective Service System). The success of these cases protected thousands of young men from punitive induction.