Gonzales v. United States
348 U.S. 407 (1955)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Gonzales v. United States, 348 U.S. 407 (1955)

Gonzales v. United States

No. 69

Argued February 1-2, 1955

Decided March 14, 1955

348 U.S. 407

Syllabus

Petitioner, a member of Jehovah's Witnesses who had claimed and had been denied conscientious objector exemption, was convicted under the Universal Military Training and Service Act for refusal to submit to induction into the armed forces.

Held: the failure to furnish petitioner with a copy of the recommendation made by the Department of Justice to the Appeal Board under the provisions of § 6(j) of the Act deprived petitioner of the right to present his side of the case to the Appeal Board, and the conviction is reversed. Pp. 348 U. S. 408-417.

(a) Although not expressly required by § 6(j) of the Act, it is implicit in the Act and Regulations that a copy of the recommendation of the Department be furnished the registrant at the time it is forwarded to the Appeal Board, and that he be afforded an opportunity to reply. Pp. 348 U. S. 411-414, 348 U. S. 417.

(b) The right to file a statement before the Appeal Board includes the right to file a meaningful statement, one based on all the facts in the file and made with awareness of the recommendations and arguments to be countered. Pp. 348 U. S. 414-416.

(c) Petitioner's rights were not adequately protected by the provision in the regulations for a mode of "rehearing." Pp. 348 U. S. 416-417.

212 F.2d 71 reversed.

Petitioner was convicted under the Universal Military Training and Service Act for refusal to submit to induction into the armed forces. 120 F. Supp. 730. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 212 F.2d 71. This Court granted certiorari. 348 U.S. 811. Reversed, p. 348 U. S. 417.

Page 348 U. S. 408

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