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Arno Sascha Jakobson Collected Papers


Held at: Swarthmore College Peace Collection [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore 19081-1399

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In 1963, Arno Sascha Jakobson was convicted of refusal of induction for the military draft. He claimed that the induction order was invalid under sec. 6(j) of the draft law deferring conscientious objectors on grounds of religious training and belief with belief in a Supreme Being. The court denied him Conscientious Objector status, as he had no belief in a Supreme Being. In 1965, the United States Supreme Court ruled (United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163) that the exemption from the military draft for conscientious objectors could not be reserved only for those professing conformity with the moral directives of a Supreme Being, but also for those whose views on war derived from a "sincere and meaningful belief which occupies in the life of its possessor a place parallel to that filled by the God of those" who had routinely gotten the exemption. This decision resolved, on diverse but related grounds, three cases, each involving conviction for failure to accept induction into the armed forces on the part of someone who sought conscientious objector status without "belong[ing] to an orthodox religious sect". The accused, whose cases were otherwise unrelated, were Arno Sascha Jakobson, Forest Britt Peter, and Daniel Andrew Seeger; it was Seeger's case that gave its name to the multi-case decision.

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is not the official repository for the records of this individual.

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