Thirteenth Amendment, Section 1:
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.
The Thirteenth Amendment has been held inapplicable in a wide range of situations. Thus, under a rubric of
services which have from time immemorial been treated as exceptional, the Court held that contracts of seamen, involving to a certain extent the surrender of personal liberty, may be enforced without regard to the Amendment. 1 Similarly, enforcement of those duties that individuals owe the government,
such as services in the army, militia, on the jury, etc., is not covered. 2 A state law requiring every able-bodied man within its jurisdiction to labor for a reasonable time on public roads near his residence without direct compensation was sustained. 3 A Thirteenth Amendment challenge to conscription for military service was summarily rejected. 4 A state law making it a misdemeanor for a lessor, or his agent or janitor, intentionally to fail to furnish such water, heat, light, elevator, telephone, or other services as may be required by the terms of the lease and necessary to the proper and customary use of the building was held not to create an involuntary servitude. 5 A federal statute making it unlawful to coerce, compel, or constrain a communications licensee to employ persons in excess of the number of the employees needed to conduct his business was held not to implicate the Amendment. 6 Injunctions and cease and desist orders in labor disputes requiring return to work do not violate the Amendment. 7