LOUISVILLE — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, will soon be filing stand-alone legislation to end the practice of registering for the Selective Service.
The bill titled ‘The Muhammad Ali Voluntary Service Act’ will be presented to Congress in honor of the famed boxer who refused to serve in the Vietnam War.
On April, 28 1967 the heavy weight champion was stripped of his title for refusing to be inducted in the United States Army. Ali, a Muslim and conscientious objector, was convicted of draft evasion — a conviction that would later be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“One thing I liked about Muhammad Ali is that he would stand on principle even when it was unpopular,” Paul told reporters in Louisville on Monday. “You know, the criminal justice system I say now has a racial justice disparity, selective service had a racial disparity, because a lot of rich white kids either got a deferment or went to college or got out of the draft. I’m opposed to Selective Service.”
If the bill is signed into law, Paul said that the military would stay the same as we know it now, and use an all-volunteer force. Since 1973 the United States has used an all-voluntary military force.
Most men who are 18-25 and are U.S. citizens or are immigrants living in the U.S. are still required to register with Selective Service.
Ali passed away at the age of 74; a public memorial is planned on Friday.
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