Involuntary servitude


Involuntary servitude

Involuntary servitude is a United States legal and constitutional term for a person laboring against that person's will to benefit another, under some form of coercion. While laboring to benefit another occurs in the condition of slavery, involuntary servitude does not necessarily connote the complete lack of freedom experienced in chattel slavery; involuntary servitude may also refer to other forms of unfree labor. Involuntary servitude is not dependent upon compensation or its amount.

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution makes involuntary servitude illegal under any US jurisdiction whether at the hands of the US government or in the private sphere, except as punishment for a crime: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." According to lectlaw.com [ [http://www.lectlaw.com/def/i071.htm Legal Definition of 'Involuntary Servitude & Peonage' ] ] , involuntary servitude is defined as servitude to a person, which excludes the US government and its political subdivisions.

The Libertarian Party of the United States and other libertarians consider military conscription to be involuntary servitude in the sense of the Thirteenth Amendment. [Citation
url=http://www.lp.org/issues/platform_all.shtml
title=National Platform of the Libertarian Party
year=2008
publisher=lp.org
accessdate=2008-08-22
] failed verification|date=August 2008 Some libertarians consider compulsory schooling and income taxation forms of involuntary servitude.

Some have also argued that, should "Roe v. Wade" 410 U.S. 113 (1973) be overturned by the United States Supreme Court, a constitutional right to abortion could still be sustained on the basis that denying it would subject women to involuntary servitude contrary to the Thirteenth Amendment. [Koppelman, Andrew, "Forced Labor: A Thirteenth Amendment Defense of Abortion", 84 "Northwestern University Law Review" 480 (1990)] However, no U.S. court has yet accepted such an argument. ["Roe v. Rampton", 394 F. Supp. 677 (D Utah 1975) (Ritter C.J. dissenting); "Jane L. v. Bangerter", 794 F. Supp. 1537 (D Utah 1992).] Differing views have been expressed as to whether the argument is so unpersuasive as to be "frivolous". ["Jane L. v. Bangerter", 61 F.3d 1505, 1514-1515 (10th Cir. 1995).] One major difficulty with the argument relates to the claim that pregnancy and child-bearing are within the scope of the term "servitude". [Vieira, Norman, "Hardwick" and the Right of Privacy" 55 "University of Chicago Law Review" 1181, 1189-1191 (1988).]

The Supreme Court has held, in Butler v. Perry, [http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=240&invol=328 240 U.S. 328] (1916), that the Thirteenth Amendment does not prohibit "enforcement of those duties which individuals owe to the state, such as services in the army, militia, on the jury, etc."

ee also

*Jury duty
*Alimony
* Equal protection clause
* Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
* Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • involuntary servitude — index bondage, subjection Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 involuntary servitude …   Law dictionary

  • involuntary servitude — The condition of one who is compelled by force, coercion, or imprisonment, and against his will, to labor for another, whether he is paid or not. Ex parte Wilson, 114 U.S. 417, 5 S.Ct. 935, 29 L.Ed. 89; In re Slaughterhouse Cases, 83 U.S. (16… …   Black's law dictionary

  • involuntary servitude — The condition of one who is compelled by force, coercion, or imprisonment, and against his will, to labor for another, whether he is paid or not. Ex parte Wilson, 114 U.S. 417, 5 S.Ct. 935, 29 L.Ed. 89; In re Slaughterhouse Cases, 83 U.S. (16… …   Black's law dictionary

  • involuntary servitude — Compulsory labor under bondage. Slavery or peonage, except as imposed by way of punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • freedom from involuntary servitude — noun a civil right guaranteed by the 13th amendment to the US Constitution • Topics: ↑law, ↑jurisprudence • Hypernyms: ↑civil right …   Useful english dictionary

  • servitude — ser·vi·tude / sər və ˌtüd, ˌtyüd/ n 1: a condition in which an individual lacks liberty esp. to determine his or her course of action or way of life; specif: the state of being a slave involuntary servitude see also amendment xiii and amendment… …   Law dictionary

  • involuntary — in·vol·un·tary /in vä lən ˌter ē/ adj: done, made, or initiated contrary to or without one s choice an involuntary confession an involuntary lien an involuntary plaintiff joined in the action in·vol·un·tar·i·ly adv Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of …   Law dictionary

  • Servitude — may refer to:* Service * Conscription * Employment * Slavery * Indentured servitude * Involuntary servitude * Penal servitude * Servitude (BDSM) * Equitable servitude, a term of real estate law * Servitude in civil law …   Wikipedia

  • servitude — The state of a person who is subjected, voluntarily or otherwise, to another person as his servant. A charge or burden resting upon one estate for the benefit or advantage of another; a species of incorporeal right derived from the civil law (see …   Black's law dictionary

  • involuntary — involuntarily /in vol euhn ter euh lee, vol euhn tair /, adv. involuntariness, n. /in vol euhn ter ee/, adj. 1. not voluntary; independent of one s will; not by one s own choice: an involuntary listener; involuntary servitude. 2. unintentional;… …   Universalium


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