Requiring men but not women to register for the military draft is unconstitutional, a Houston federal court judge has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Gray Miller denied a government motion on Friday to stay a suit brought by the men’s rights advocacy group National Coalition for Men. The organization is seeking an injunction that orders the Selective Service System to require that registration for the draft be extended to include women.
Miller noted that the Supreme Court, in 1981, excluded women from the draft because they were ineligible for combat duty. Since they are now eligible, and since a draft is typically required when combat positions need to be filled, excluding women from draft registration is incorrect.
“Women’s opportunities in the military have expanded dramatically,” Miller wrote in his 19-page decision. “In 2013 the Department of Defense officially lifted the ban on women in combat. In 2015 the Department of Defense lifted all gender-based restrictions on military service. Thus, women are now eligible for all military service roles, including combat positions.”
Although the draft ended in 1973, all U.S. men between ages 18 and 26 must still register with the Selective Service System so that if military conscription became warranted, it could quickly begin.
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