“Since women are excluded from combat service by statute or military policy,” Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote for the majority, “men and women are simply not similarly situated for purposes of a draft or registration for a draft.”
In 2019, Judge Gray H. Miller, of the Federal District Court in Houston, dominated that since ladies can now serve in fight, the men-only registration requirement was no longer justified. A unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, agreed that “the factual underpinning of the controlling Supreme Court decision has changed.” But it mentioned that only the Supreme Court might overrule its personal precedent.
The Trump administration defended differing registration necessities in the appeals court docket. The Biden administration has twice sought additional time to reply to the petition in search of Supreme Court assessment in the case, National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System, No. 20-928, and its transient is now due on April 14.
Last 12 months, a congressional commission concluded that increasing the registration requirement to ladies was “a necessary — and overdue — step” that “signals that both men and women are valued for their contributions in defending the nation.” That echoed suggestions from army leaders. But Congress, which has lengthy been finding out the query, has but to act.
Men who fail to register can face harsh punishments, together with legal prosecution, denial of pupil loans and disqualification from citizenship. Eight states don’t let males enroll in public universities until they’ve registered.
The authorities has not drafted anybody since the Vietnam War, and there’s no cause to suppose that may change. The challengers say that could be a cause for the court docket to act now, earlier than a disaster arises.
“Should the court declare the men-only registration requirement unconstitutional,” their transient mentioned, “Congress has considerable latitude to decide how to respond. It could require everyone between the ages of 18 and 26, regardless of sex, to register; it could rescind the registration requirement entirely; or it could adopt a new approach altogether, such as replacing” the registration requirement “with a more expansive national service requirement.”