Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘involuntary servitude’

The 13th Amendment – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 5, 2019

The National Commission on Military, National and Public Service should be called the Slavery Commission. Requiring Americans to perform public service or serve in the military is akin to slavery no matter what the Supreme Court says. Forcing someone to work in a particular occupation—even if you pay him—is wrong, even when the government does it.

A free person owns himself.


Although the word slavery does not appear in the body of the Constitution, the “peculiar institution” is alluded to in Article I, sections 2 and 9, and Article 4, section 2. This changed with the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The Thirteenth Amendment was passed by the Senate in April of 1864 and by the House in January of 1865. It was ratified by the necessary number of states in December of 1865.

Although the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery, it does not apply to the U.S. government.

In the Selective Draft Law Cases (1918), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that military conscription did not amount to involuntary servitude. Said the Court’s unanimous decision: Read the rest of this entry »


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