Religion: Definition of a Minister

All Jehovah's Witnesses lay claim to draft exemption on the ground that they are ministers. Last week the U.S. Supreme court backed up one of them in a 6-to-3 decision. What applied to George Lewis Dickinson of Coalings, California, does not necessarily apply to all Witnesses. Justice Tom C. Clark carefully pointed out in his majority opinion, but neither should "a legitimate minister . . . be, for the purposes of the [Selective Service] Act, unfrocked simply because all members of his sect base an exemption claim on the dogma of his faith."

The importance of the decision lay in its judicial...

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