Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) March 20, 2019 - A federal judge in Houston, Texas recently ruled that excluding women from being required to register for the draft is unconstitutional. As the ban on females in combat was lifted in 2015 there is now no legal reason for them to not register as men do.
The challenge to the existing draft laws came from the National Coalition for Men, a men’s rights group. They claimed that the gender ban violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.
The judge in the case, Judge Gray H. Miller of Federal District Court in the Southern District of Texas, considered a 1981 Supreme Court ruling that said a ban on females signing up for the draft was legal as they were forbidden from combat at the time. Now that they are allowed to hold any military position for which they are qualified, he reasoned that they should also be eligible for the draft.
The Military Selective Service Act requires all men to register for the draft upon turning 18. They are eligible for conscripted service until they turn 25. Failure to register can result in fines, jail time or the denial of federal programs and services like student loans. The draft has not been utilized in 40 years, since the Vietnam War.
Lead attorney at Legal Help for Veterans, a law firm in Northville, Michigan that serves military families, James G. Fausone, a veteran himself, says, “Every door is now open to women in the military, which is a wonderful thing. Everyone stands to benefit from the full talents and abilities of the population should the need arise.”
The ruling is only symbolic for now but it comes just as the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service has been studying the draft system and contemplating its future.
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