How Did O Brien Lose His Drafting Card In Protest

995 Words4 Pages

Today we see a lot of protesting and opinions being stated all over social media. In the late 1960s the United States started to get involved in the Vietnam War, which started a lot of protests because people did not want to fight in a war that mainly did not concern them. In 1968, David O’Brien wanted to express his disapproval of the war (United States v. O’Brien). So, while standing outside the Boston Courthouse, he decided to burn his drafting card in front of quite a few people (United States v. O’Brien). He did this so he could exercise his first amendment right, which is the freedom of speech and/or press (United States v. O’Brien). If the same rules applied in today’s society everybody would be arrested, due to the outbreaks of people …show more content…

While reading Invispress, it stated that “In the United States when you turn 18, you must register for the draft” which was a immense deal at the time because people were forced to sign up for something they didn’t want to do or necessarily even believe in. Which is why O’Brien and a few other people burned their cards in protest. While O’Brien was expressing his beliefs, he got apprehended. He was convicted for violating 50 U.S.C.App. § 462(b), a part of the Universal Military Training and Service Act, subdivision (3) of which applies to any person "who forges, alters, knowingly destroys, knowingly mutilates, or in any manner changes any such certificate” (Chris Skelton, Supreme) basically this is saying that it is illegal to forge, alter, or destroy a draft card (Invispress). During the time O’Brien was giving the speech a few Federal Bureau Investigators were …show more content…

I believe this case applies to the Criminal Justice Field because with all the protests and things being said it’s hard to really know when is the breaking point or the point where you take action. For example, if someone tweets “I hate all lunch ladies” and then decides to burn a lunch lady hat, is that person still protected under the first amendment? It’s ultimately a hard question to answer when you are stuck between what is right and what is wrong. Chief Justice Warren said, “We cannot accept the view that an apparently limitless variety of conduct can be labeled "speech" whenever the person engaging in the conduct intends thereby to express an idea” which I agree with today, in the justice field, we see quite a few cops being threatened but you cannot just shoot a cop and yell I did it to express my first amendment rights. Without this case, the criminal justice field would not have a diverse way of amending certain situation involving the first amendment also we would not have the O’Brien test. This court case changed the way people viewed their rights to speak freely. This case helped change the way criminal justice professionals did their job because the O’Brien test, The O’Brien test is “describes a series of guidelines used to determine whether a law that restricts speech violates the First Amendment” this helped with cases that involved non-verbal

Open Document