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WITMER V. UNITED STATES, 348 U. S. 375 (1955)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Witmer v. United States, 348 U.S. 375 (1955)

Witmer v. United States

No. 164

Argued February 1, 1955

Decided March 14, 1955

348 U.S. 375


1. Petitioner, a member of Jehovah's Witnesses, was convicted of failing to submit to induction into the armed forces in violation of § 12(a) of the Universal Military Training and Service Act.

Held: on the record in this case, this Court cannot find that there was no basis in fact for the Appeal Board's decision denying petitioner classification as a conscientious objector, and his conviction is affirmed. Dickinson v. United States, 346 U. S. 389, distinguished. Pp. 348 U. S. 376-383.

(a) In conscientious objector cases, the ultimate question is the sincerity of the registrant in objecting, on religious grounds, to participation in war in any form. Pp. 348 U. S. 381-382.

(b) Petitioner's inconsistent statements were sufficient to cast doubt on the sincerity of his claim. Pp. 348 U. S. 382-383.

2. After petitioner's application for classification as a farmer and a conscientious objector had been denied, he applied to the Local Board for classification as a minister of the gospel, and appeared before the Board and submitted evidence in support of this claim. Before forwarding the case to the Appeal Board, the Local Board in fact considered this claim and advised petitioner of his continuance in the I-A classification.

Held: this satisfied the requirement of § 1624.2(b) and (c) of the Selective Service Regulations that the case be reopened and the registrant reclassified, though the Board's records did not use the words "reopen" or "reclassify." Pp. 348 U. S. 383-384.

213 F.2d 95 affirmed.

Petitioner was convicted of failing to submit to induction into the armed forces in violation of § 12(a) of the Universal Military Training and Service Act. 115 F. Supp. 19. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 213 F.2d 95. This Court granted certiorari. 348 U.S. 812. Affirmed, p. 348 U. S. 384. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 348 U. S. 376

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