What do you think of a targeted draft for US Senators' families?

As far as I know, there's only one US Senator that has any immediate family serving in the military. What if there was an extremely targeted draft, just for immediate family of US Senators? (And the President of the United States/Commander in Chief, of course). All immediate family within a certain age range must serve at least two years including those who aren't quite at that age yet, with an eye on making sure a certain percentage see active duty and that the tendency to see multiple tours is on par with what the rest of the military is doing. I see a lot of upside, for example:

The Senate is typically supposed to declare war by vote, but there are provisions for the President to get something started on his own in an attacking-without-declaration-of-war type of capacity. Perhaps the Senate would do a more careful job of reining that in if they all have immediate family putting boots on the ground, and perhaps the President would make different decisions if he knew that his family members both now and those who aren't old enough to serve yet will have to live with personally live or die by those decisions.

Rape is completely out of control in the US military. Perhaps if Senators (and the President) had daughters in the service, something would be done. At the very least, anyone important to those powerful men and women would be relatively safe- and in turn anyone important to those people would be relatively safe. Some people safe is an improvement on no people safe.

There are some serious and intractable problems with the system that gets benefits to military veterans. Solutions have been hard to come by, and a lot of people fall through the cracks. Again, perhaps if the most powerful politicians in the US get some skin in the game, they'll get a little more creative and start to find solutions for everyone.

And finally, these types of politicians are supposed to be public servants, but the families they typically come from are generally not cut from that sort of cloth. Perhaps if the most powerful politicians in the US either came from military families or from families that are somewhat amenable to becoming military families, we would have more in the way of high quality public servants. I realize that there already are a few US Senators who have served with distinction, and they are great people and great leaders. And to that I say- that's kind of the point, how about we have more of that all the way around. The US military produces great leaders, there should be a better path between that sort of leadership and the highest levels of government.

Those are the benefits I can come up with. What does everybody else think- are there some downsides to consider? Are there any other benefits to doing this, even if it is very unlikely to actually happen?


Additional detail: What is the argument for or against constitutionality? Drafts happened before, yes? Were those unconstitutional? Not as far as I know. Is there anything in the Constitution that has bearing on a more targeted draft, or any draft of any kind? My first instinct is "No," but maybe somebody has a quote.

Update 2:

Another detail: Nothing quite like this is mentioned in the Constitution....or the Amendments to the Constitution. Yes, the Amendments, which weren't put in there to begin with but were added later. So really, what we could ask is- if this is a good idea (likely), and if the right people get behind it (much less likely), what reason would the Supreme Court have for actually declaring it unconstitutional? What would really make that so likely?

3 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Completely unconstitutional. Try again.

    "Amendment XIV

    Section 1.

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    Imposing the draft in such a manner would "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

  • 7 years ago

    As unConstitutional as it would be, I think every Congressman should sign a pledge when he takes office agreeing that at least one of his children will be required to serve in any war he votes for.

  • 7 years ago

    Last time I checked we had a volunteer army.

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