facebook linkedin twitter

Report to Address Need for the Draft and Women’s Exclusion

March 12, 2020 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – The United States stopped drafting young men into the military in 1973, but the issue of the draft, and whether women as well as men should be subject to it, is very much alive.

On March 25, the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service is scheduled to release a final report and recommendations on the draft — including whether the nation still needs a draft registration system, whether women should be required to register and whether other changes are needed.

The commission, which was created in 2017, has been both reviewing the Selective Service registration process and examining ways to increase participation in military and public service.

Former Republican Rep. Joe Heck, of Nevada, a U.S. Army Brigadier General, has said in the past that he supports requiring women to register for the draft, just as men continue to do when they reach the age of 18.

On a related note, this past week the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans held a hearing to consider whether to uphold a 2019 ruling by a federal judge in Texas that found the men-only draft unconstitutional.

“While historical restrictions on women in the military may have justified past discrimination, men and women are now ‘similarly situated for purposes of a draft or registration for a draft,'” U.S. District Judge Gray Miller wrote in February 2019.

“If there ever was a time to discuss ‘the place of women in the Armed Services,’ that time has passed,” he said.

The issue is being litigated by the National Coalition for Men, a men’s rights group, on the grounds of gender-based discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.

“After decades of sex discrimination against men in the Selective Service, the courts have finally found it unconstitutional to force only men to register,” said Marc Angelucci, attorney for the coalition, in a written statement.

“Even without a draft, men still face prison, fines, and denial of federal loans for not registering or for not updating the government of their whereabouts. Since women will be required to register with the Selective Service, they should face the same repercussions as men for any noncompliance,” he said.

During the hearing, the three-judge panel said the plaintiffs had significant hurdles to overcome, not the least of which is a 1981 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the men-only draft registration system.

But Angelucci argued things have changed significantly since that ruling, most notable, the 2015 decision by the Pentagon to allow women into combat roles.

“Having women in combat roles now significantly changes the circumstances,” Angelluci said.

Simply put, he argued, lower courts are not bound to outdated precedents when the facts change so dramatically.

Claire Murray, the Justice Department attorney arguing on behalf of the federal government, disagreed.

According to Murray, once the Supreme Court renders a decision, it’s up to Congress, not lower court judges, to address it.

To date, Congress has not moved to require women to register. And Murray said lawmakers on Capitol Hill would have a lot to consider should they be forced to consider bringing back the draft in a time of war.

Those considerations include anticipated mortality rates for women in combat, and the need for equipment and facilities for women drafted in equal numbers to men.

Military

October 18, 2021
by Dan McCue
Colin Powell Dies of COVID-19 Complications

Colin Powell, former Joint Chiefs chairman and secretary of state, has died from COVID-19 complications, his family said Monday. He... Read More

Colin Powell, former Joint Chiefs chairman and secretary of state, has died from COVID-19 complications, his family said Monday. He was 84. In an announcement on social media, the family said Powell had been fully vaccinated and was treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. ... Read More

U.S. Military Commanders Assure Senate They Are Ready for Terrorism

WASHINGTON -- The war in Afghanistan is officially over but the terrorism threat to the United States continues, according to... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The war in Afghanistan is officially over but the terrorism threat to the United States continues, according to military commanders who testified to the U.S. Senate Tuesday. They acknowledged that the chaotic U.S. military withdrawal was disappointing after 20 years of war.  A suicide... Read More

September 24, 2021
by Dan McCue
House Approves Defense Authorization Act With Strong Bipartisan Support

WASHINGTON -- Members of the House might not agree on much these days, but one thing they do seem to... Read More

WASHINGTON -- Members of the House might not agree on much these days, but one thing they do seem to be in agreement on is that passing the annual defense spending authorization falls into the same rarified category as mom and apple pie. On Thursday, the... Read More

Tensions Grow As US, Allies Deepen Indo-Pacific Involvement

BANGKOK (AP) — With increasingly strong talk in support of Taiwan, a new deal to supply Australia with nuclear submarines,... Read More

BANGKOK (AP) — With increasingly strong talk in support of Taiwan, a new deal to supply Australia with nuclear submarines, and the launch of a European strategy for greater engagement in the Indo-Pacific, the U.S. and its allies are becoming more assertive in their approach toward... Read More

September 22, 2021
by Reece Nations
Biden Discusses AUKUS Partnership with Macron Amid 'Diplomatic Crisis'

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday to discuss the United States' new strategic... Read More

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday to discuss the United States' new strategic partnership with the U.K. and Australia. Australia is set to construct eight nuclear-powered submarines through its alliance with the U.S. and the U.K., dashing the country's... Read More

September 22, 2021
by TWN Staff
Blue Dogs Endorse Slate of NDAA Amendments to Support US Service Members

WASHINGTON -- The Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats has endorsed a slate of amendments to the National Defense Authorization... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats has endorsed a slate of amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act.  These amendments include measures that the Blue Dogs contend would strengthen support for U.S. service members as they transition to civilian life; counter the Chinese... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top