Judge Nixes Restrictions on Military Recruiters


     (CN) – A federal judge in Oakland, Calif., struck down nearly identical ordinances in Arcata and Eureka that ban military recruiters from trying to recruit city residents under the age of 18. U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong said the 2008 ordinances violate the Supremacy Clause.

     Military recruiters can be fined for violating either ordinance.
     “A citizen complaint of any unsolicited military recruiting activity involving people under the age of 18 shall initiate investigation and possible citation by the [Arcata or Eureka] Police Department for violation of this Ordinance,” the ordinances state.
     “The ordinances violate the Supremacy Clause for four reasons,” Armstrong wrote.
     First, they seek to subject federal government conduct directly to local government control. Second, they subject the federal government to discriminatory treatment. Both violate the principle of intergovernmental immunity, Armstrong said.
     Third, they encroach on the federal government’s domain of regulating the manner in which it recruits members of the national armed forces.
     And fourth, the ordinances conflict with Congress’ declared national policy supporting military recruitment.
     Armstrong declared the ordinances unconstitutional and enjoined their enforcement.

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