The First Amendment Encyclopedia

Presented by the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies

Case Categories: Conscientious Objection and Religious Freedom

Conscientious objection to military service refers to the position taken by individuals who oppose participation in war on the basis of their religious, moral, or ethical beliefs. Such objection can take many forms, such as refusing to serve in combat, register for the draft, pay taxes tied to war allocations, or make any type of contribution to a war effort.

Several First Amendment rulings have considered religious freedom in conscientious objection disputes.

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