by Karl Fleischmann, Captain (ret.) in U.S. Army, Judge Advocate General Corps., graduate of Columbia College (A.B.), Phi Beta Kappa and Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Congress has long seen fit to recognize a right to exemption from active service for those who hold a conscientious objection. This was recognized by the Supreme Court in United States v. Macintosh, 283 U.S. 605, 623 (1931). It continues to apply to the occasional situation in which someone develops a conscientious objection during voluntary military service.