The Law: Massachusetts v. Viet Nam

The Supreme Court has steadfastly refused to debate the legality of U.S. participation in the Viet Nam War. Three Army privates could not tempt the court with the issue in 1967, when they tried to block their orders for shipment to Viet Nam; last week the court rejected another challenge by the most powerful courtroom protester yet­the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Last spring the Massachusetts legislature passed a bill designed to bring a suit before the court challenging Defense Secretary Melvin Laird's right to wage undeclared war. By a 6-3 vote, the Justices brushed aside the effort of Massachusetts to bring the suit...

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