421 F.2d 1162 (D.C. Cir. 1970), 21644, Shea v. Mitchell

Docket Nº:21644.
Citation:421 F.2d 1162
Party Name:James Marvin SHEA, Jr., Appellant v. John N. MITCHELL, as Attorney General of the United States, et al., Appellees.
Case Date:February 06, 1970
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

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421 F.2d 1162 (D.C. Cir. 1970)

James Marvin SHEA, Jr., Appellant


John N. MITCHELL, as Attorney General of the United States, et al., Appellees.

No. 21644.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

February 6, 1970

Argued Sept. 9, 1968, Reargued April 8, 1969.

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Mr. Robert H. Turtle, Washington, D.C., with whom Messrs. Monroe E. Freeman, Jr. and Lawrence Speiser, Washington, D.C., were on the brief, for appellant.

Mr. James G. Greilsheimer, Atty., Department of Justice, of the bar of the Court of Appeals of New York, pro hac vice, by special leave of court, with whom Mr. Edwin L. Weisl, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen. at the time the brief was filed, and Mr. Morton Hollander, Atty., Department of Justice, were on the brief, for appellees. Messrs. Alan Rosenthal, Robert V. Zener and David J. Anderson, Attys., Department of Justice, also entered appearances for appellees.

Before BAZELON, Chief Judge, and WRIGHT and LEVENTHAL, Circuit judges.

J. SKELLY WRIGHT, Circuit Judge.

As a gesture of protest against American involvement in the Vietnam war, appellant Shea sent his Selective Service Notice of Classification to his draft board in April 1967. Subsequently Shea refused to apply for a duplicate card and then returned an unsolicited duplicate which the board sent him on its own initiative in June 1967. Finally, on July 19, 1967, the local board declared Shea delinquent pursuant to 32 C.F.R. § 1642.4 (1969) for 'failure to retain a Registration Certificate and Notice of Classification as prescribed by Selective Service Regulations.' At the same time, the board reclassified Shea from his III-A (fatherhood) classification to I-A and sent him a notice of his new classification.

Appellant took advantage of his right to a personal appearance before the board, but did not perfect an appeal when the board reaffirmed his I-A delinquency classification. After appellant's time to take an appeal had expired, the board issued an accelerated induction order, as provided in the delinquency regulations. 32 C.F.R. § 1642.13 (1969). The day before he was to report for induction, Shea filed the complaint in the present case in the District Court seeking a declaratory judgment that his induction was illegal and an injunction prohibiting his induction. 1

The District Court dismissed appellant's complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction 2 on the basis of Section 10(b)(3) of the Military Selective Service Act of 1967, as amended, 50 U.S.C.App. § 460(b)(3) (Supp. IV 1965-1968), and Shea appealed. We have withheld decision pending the Supreme Court's decisions in Oestereich v. Selective Service System Local Board No. 11, 393 U.S. 233, 89 S.Ct. 414, 21 L.Ed.2d 402 (1968),

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and Gutknecht v. United States, 396 U.S. 295, 90 S.Ct. 506, 24 L.Ed.2d 532 (1970). On the basis of the Supreme Court's decisions in these cases and in Breen v. Selective Service Local Board No. 16, 396 U.S. 460, 90 S.Ct. 661, 24 L.Ed.2d 653 (1970), we think it clear that the District Court's dismissal must be reversed.


We believe that Gutknecht and Oestereich read together establish that pre-induction judicial review lies whenever the Selective Service System has reclassified a registrant or issued an induction order pursuant to the delinquency regulations struck down in Gutknecht. The Oestereich 3 holding may be divided into two parts: (1) the use of the delinquency regulations to deprive a registrant of a statutory 'exemption' to which he was otherwise entitled was unauthorized by the statute; and (2) Section 10(b)(3) does not preclude pre-induction judicial review of such 'blatantly lawless' conduct by a local board.

Gutknecht 4 explicitly took the first half of the Oestereich holding and broadened it to invalidate the entire delinquency procedure as unauthorized by the statute. In reversing Gutknecht's conviction of failure to report for induction, 5 the Court explicitly noted that in Gutknecht's case

'no 'exemption, ' no 'deferment, ' no 'classification' in the statutory sense is involved. 'Delinquency' was used here not to change a classification but to accelerate petitioner's induction * * *; and it was that difference which led the Court of Appeals to conclude that what we said in Ostereich was not controlling here.'

396 U.S. at 304, 90 S.Ct. 506. The Court, however, held that the reasoning in the first part of Oestereich nonetheless controlled Gutknecht's case. In short, the Court said that any delinquency induction is as 'blatantly lawless' as the induction enjoined in Oestereich, without regard to whether a registrant is entitled to an exemption or a deferment. Since it was the 'blatantly lawless' character of Oestereich's induction which led the Court to read Section 10(b)(3) to permit pre-induction judicial review in that case, we think the exception to Section 10(b)(3) established by Oestereich must be held, in the light of Gutknecht, to permit pre-induction judicial review

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of any induction order issued under the invalid delinquency regulations. 6


We think appellant Shea is also entitled to...

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