Quantcast

UPDATE: High Court Won’t Review Men-Only Military Draft Law

'The current disparate treatment of women unacceptably excludes women from a fundamental civic obligation...'

UPDATE 10:15 AM 6/7/21 VIA AP: The Supreme Court on Monday said it won’t take up a case that asked it to decide whether it’s sex discrimination for the government to require only men to register for the draft when they turn 18.

In a statement, three justices said Congress is weighing whether to change the Military Selective Service Act, which requires men but not women to register for the draft. They said that was a reason for the court not to take the case.

“It remains to be seen, of course, whether Congress will end gender-based registration under the Military Selective Act. But at least for now, the Court’s longstanding deference to Congress on matters of national defense and military affairs cautions against granting review while Congress actively weighs the issue,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a statement for herself, Justice Stephen Breyer and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: (Associated Press) The Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether it’s sex discrimination for the government to require only men to register for the draft when they turn 18.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

The question of whether it’s unconstitutional to require men but not women to register could be viewed as one with little practical impact.

The last time there was a draft was during the Vietnam War, and the military has been all-volunteer since.

But the registration requirement is one of the few remaining places where federal law treats men and women differently, and women’s groups are among those arguing that allowing it to stand is harmful.

The justices could say as soon as Monday whether they will hear a case involving the Military Selective Service Act, which requires men to register for the draft.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

Ria Tabacco Mar, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project, who is urging the court to take up the issue, says requiring men to register imposes a “serious burden on men that’s not being imposed on women.”

Men who do not register can lose eligibility for student loans and civil service jobs, and failing to register is also a felony punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in prison. But Tabacco Mar says the male-only requirement does more than that.

“It’s also sending a tremendously harmful message that women are less fit than men to serve their country in this particular way and conversely that men are less fit than women to stay home as caregivers in the event of an armed conflict. We think those stereotypes demean both men and women,” she said.

Even if the draft is never used again, retaining the men-only requirement sends a “really damaging message,” said Tabacco Mar, who represents the National Coalition For Men and two individual men challenging the law

A group of retired senior military officers and the National Organization for Women Foundation are among the others urging the court to take the case.

If the court agrees to hear the case, it wouldn’t be deciding whether women have to register, just whether the current system is constitutional.

If it isn’t, then it would then be up to Congress to decide how to respond, either by passing a law requiring everyone to register or deciding registration is no longer necessary.

The issue of who has to register for the draft has been to the court before. In 1981, the court voted 6-3 to uphold the men-only registration requirement.

At the time, the decision was something of an outlier because the court was regularly invalidating gender-based distinctions in cases about other areas of the law.

Many of those cases were brought by the founding director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who became a justice in 1993

The last time the high court considered the Military Selective Service Act, then-Justice William Rehnquist explained that the purpose of registration “was to prepare for a draft of combat troops.”

He said that because women could not serve in combat, the law was not unlawful sex discrimination that violated the Constitution.

But military policy has changed. In 2013, the Department of Defense lifted the ban on women serving in combat. Two years later, the department said all military roles would be open to women without exception.

Just last year, a congressional commission concluded that the “time is right” to extend the obligation to register to women.

“The current disparate treatment of women unacceptably excludes women from a fundamental civic obligation and reinforces gender stereotypes about the role of women, undermining national security,” the commission said in a report.

The Biden administration is urging the justices not to take the case and to let Congress instead tackle the issue. Administration lawyers wrote in a brief that any “reconsideration of the constitutionality of the male-only registration requirement … would be premature at this time” because Congress is “actively considering” the issue.

The Selective Service System, the agency that oversees registration, said in a statement that it doesn’t comment on pending litigation but that it is “capable of performing whatever mission Congress should mandate.”

If the court agrees to take the case, arguments wouldn’t happen until the fall at the earliest, after the court’s summer break.

The court already has high-profile cases awaiting it then. They include a major challenge to abortion rights and an appeal to expand gun rights.

The case about the draft is National Coalition For Men v. Selective Service System, 20-928.

- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

Judge Dismisses BLM Lawsuit Over Trump Clearing Rioters from DC Park

(Headline USA) A federal judge has dismissed a majority of the claims filed by activists who accused the Trump administration of violating the civil...

Biden Bribes Parents w/ $500+ Monthly Payouts, Even if They Don’t Pay Taxes

(The Center Square, Casey Harper) A sweeping new federal program that will provide monthly payouts to parents kicks off next month, and the Biden...

Mistrial Halts Case on Minimum Wage for Immigrant Detainees

(Headline USA) A trial over whether the GEO Group must pay minimum wage---instead of $1 a day---to immigration detainees who perform tasks like cooking...

SCOTUS Rules NCAA Can’t Set Limits on Athlete Compensation

(Headline USA) The Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday that the NCAA can’t enforce rules limiting education-related benefits---like computers and paid internships---that colleges offer to...

Michigan Woman Killed After Firing on Police Officer at Juneteenth Parade

(Headline USA) A 19-year-old Michigan woman died after exchanging gunfire with a police officer who was controlling traffic near a weekend Juneteenth parade, authorities...

Pro-Freedom Icon Ammon Bundy Launches Campaign for Idaho Gov. Race

(Headline USA) Pro-freedom activist Ammon Bundy on Saturday came out with his first videos announcing his campaign to become governor of Idaho. “I’m running for...

Biden, Dems Face Long Summer Slog to Push Radical Leftist Agenda

(Headline USA) During the Trump administration, the act of governing seemed to happen at the speed of presidential tweets. But now President Joe Biden is...

Judge Hears Arguments in Ga. Absentee-Ballot Fraud Case

(Headline USA) A judge was set to hear arguments Monday over whether a lawsuit that alleges fraud during the November general election in Georgia’s...

Newsom Pledges to Pay Off Past-Due Rent, Extend Calif. Eviction Ban

(Headline USA) California Gov. Gavin Newsom may be counting on renters and landlords will turning up more than concerned taxpayers in the state's upcoming...
- Advertisement -