UNITED STATES V. WILLIAMS, 302 U. S. 46 (1937)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Williams, 302 U.S. 46 (1937)

United States v. Williams

No. 11

Argued October 15, 1937

Decided November 8, 1937

302 U.S. 46


1. Congress may accept, or require, the military services of minors, with or without the consent of their parents. P. 302 U. S. 48.

2. Under 34 U.S.C. § 161 minors between the ages of 14 and 18 years are not accepted for enlistment in the Navy without their parents' consent; but the statute does not confer upon or leave with the parents any right to condition consent to their sons' enlistment. P. 302 U. S. 49.

3. No Act of Congress permits enlistment of minors upon condition or upon the qualified consent of parents, nor does any Act authorize recruiting officers to bind the United States to carry, or to require an enlisted man to carry, War Risk insurance for his own protection or for the benefit of any person. P. 302 U. S. 50.

4. Parents consented to the enlistment of their son on condition that he carry War Risk insurance of specified amount in behalf of his mother. Before his death in the service, the son had taken out and later had cancelled, such insurance. Held that the condition did not bind the United States; that the son had a right under the War Risk Insurance Act to cancel the insurance, and that the mother had no cause of action against the United States. P. 302 U. S. 50.

86 F.2d 746 reversed.

Certiorari, 301 U.S. 673, to review the affirmance of a judgment against the United States on a War Risk insurance policy.


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