Federal Judges Rules Male-Only Draft Unconstitutional

United States Marine Corps female recruit Stephanie Palladino adjusts her Kevlar helmet

A federal judge has ruled that it is unconstitutional to only force men to register for the draft when they turn 18. While the draft ended in 1973 following the Vietnam War, the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA) still requires all men between the ages of 18 and 25 to register for the draft.

In 1981, the Supreme Court ruled that only requiring men to register was constitutional because at that time the military banned women from serving in combat roles. That changed in 2013, and Senior Judge Gray Miller of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that the government "can no longer justify the MSSA's gender-based discrimination."

The lawsuit was filed by the National Coalition for Men, who praised the judges ruling.

"Forcing only males to register is an aspect of socially institutionalized male disposability," the group said in a statement. "Men still face prison, fines, and denial of federal loans for not registering or for not updating the government of their whereabouts." Women, it said, "should face the same repercussions as men for any noncompliance."

Photo: Getty Images

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