Appeals: The Card Is Not for Burning

After brief debate one hot August afternoon last year, the House voted 393 to 1 for a bill making it a federal felony to knowingly destroy or mutilate a draft card. HR 10306, which the Senate passed by a voice vote, was aimed at what its proponents described as "beatniks and so-called 'campus cults,' " meaning anyone who burns his draft card to protest U.S. policy in Viet Nam. Penalty: five years' imprisonment or a $10,000 fine or both.

After publicly burning his card as a "symbolic protest" in Manhattan last fall, Catholic...

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