Court Bars Federal Draft Law

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A federal district judge in Minnesota last week barred the federal government from enforcing a law that prohibits the granting of federal college aid to young men who fail to register for the draft.

U.S. District Judge Donald Alsop granted a preliminary injunction on March 10 preventing the government from enforcing the law, which was passed by the Congress as an amendment to a Defense Department appropriations bill and signed by President Reagan last September. The amendment was offered by Representative Gerald B. Solomon, Republican of New York.

The Minnesota Civil Liberties Union and the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group filed suit in federal district court earlier this year challenging the constitutionality of the so-called Solomon Amendment. Oral arguments in the case were heard on Jan. 10.

According to James D. Miller, a spokesman for the public-interest organization, Judge Alsop's granting of the injunction "shows that he feels there is enough evidence in the case indicating that our argument will prevail when it comes time for him to rule on the constitutionality of the law. We're delighted."

Mr. Miller said the organization does not know when the judge will issue his final ruling in the case. The law is scheduled to go into effect on July 1.

The immediate effect of the judge's ruling last week remains unclear. John K. Russell, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said last week that the government "believes that this injunction affects only one case and involves only one group of individuals" and not the nation as a whole.--tm

Vol. 02, Issue 25

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