Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,300+ case briefs...

McGee v. United States

United States Supreme Court
402 U.S. 479 (1971)


In 1966, McGee (defendant) was eligible for a draft deferment based on his undergraduate enrollment. McGee submitted an application to his local draft board, seeking status as a conscientious objector. McGee also sent a letter to the president of the United States with his burned draft card and an explanation that, although he was probably qualified for a deferment based on his acceptance into a graduate program, he remained a conscientious objector. A copy of the letter was forwarded to the local draft board. After McGee completed his undergraduate program, the draft board denied his conscientious-objector claim, classified him as eligible for service, and sent him a questionnaire asking for his current information and plans. McGee returned a blank questionnaire and an unopened notice of his rights and options for appealing the classification. McGee was charged in federal district court with failing to submit for induction and three related offenses. McGee was not permitted to assert a defense that the local draft board had improperly classified him as eligible for service. McGee was convicted in district court on all counts. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that McGee’s failure to exhaust his administrative remedies barred him from presenting an improper-classification defense. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether the exhaustion doctrine applied.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, J.)

Dissent (Douglas, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 487,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 487,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,300 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial