MITCHELL V. COHEN, 333 U. S. 411 (1948)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Mitchell v. Cohen, 333 U.S. 411 (1948)

Mitchell v. Cohen

No. 130

Argued January 6, 1948

Decided March 8, 1948*

333 U.S. 411


1. Part-time service with the Volunteer Port Security Force of the Coast Guard Reserve does not entitle one to veterans' preference in federal employment under the Veterans' Preference Act of 1944. Pp. 333 U. S. 412-423.

2. Those who served temporarily on a part-time basis with the Volunteer Port Security Force are not "ex-servicemen" within the meaning of § 2 of the Veterans' Preference Act. Pp. 333 U. S. 417-420.

3. The term "ex-servicemen" in the Veterans' Preference Act is to be construed as embracing only those who performed military service on full-time active duty with military pay and allowances, and who thereby dislocated the fabric of their normal economic and social life. Pp. 333 U. S. 421-422.

4. The provision of § 2 of the Veterans' Preference Act establishing preference eligibility for unmarried widows of ex-servicemen, even though these widows may have continued their normal civilian employment during the war, does not require that "ex-servicemen" be construed more broadly than above indicated. Pp. 333 U. S. 420-421.

Page 333 U. S. 412

5. One who, on the date when the Veterans' Preference Act became law, had not disenrolled from the Volunteer Port Security Force could not have acquired vested preference rights under § 18 of the Act by virtue of a Civil Service Commission ruling extending preference rights under prior laws to those who had served with the Volunteer Port Security Force. Pp. 333 U. S. 422-423.

160 F.2d 915 reversed.

Respondents brought suits against members of the Civil Service Commission to establish their status as preference eligibles in federal employment. The District Court granted summary judgments in their favor. 69 F.Supp. 54. The Court Appeals affirmed. 160 F.2d 915. This Court granted certiorari. 332 U.S. 754. Reversed, p. 333 U. S. 423.

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