Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Good Idea of the Week: Local Laws Preventing Military Recruitment Of Minors

The military are of course challenging them, but it makes a world of sense, really. Amy Goodman's Democracy Now reported the story on Monday:
California Towns Fight Back Against Justice Department Suit to Overturn Youth Protection Act that Bars Military from Recruiting Minors
Last November, residents of Eureka and Arcata passed a ballot initiative known as the Youth Protection Act that bars the US government from trying to enlist youths under the age of eighteen in any branch of the US armed forces. But just days after the laws went into effect, the Justice Department filed a suit seeking to overturn them. The Justice Department’s civil action says the initiatives are invalid because they conflict with federal law. Both towns are refusing to cave. They’ve hired lawyers and filed counter-claims challenging the federal government’s action.


David Meserve, Member of the Stop Recruiting Kids coalition, which spearheaded the successful ballot measure banning military recruitment of minors in the towns of Arcata and Eureka. He is a former member of Arcata’s city council.

Sharon Adams, San Francisco-based attorney with the Stop Recruiting Kids coalition. She is a board member at large of the National Lawyers Guild Bay Area Chapter.
There's a rush transcript there, and links to listen to the interview. For what it's worth, I don't think I was emotionally mature enough when I enlisted at 18, in 1964, to accomodate or assimilate all the implications of what I was doing, though I did it and my parents weren't all that unhappy that I'd done it--I had been a bit of problem child...

And it freed up a car and a bedroom.

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