Hope you can join Blake Henshaw and I at “Zooming with the Dawg” at 10:00 this morning. It’s a freebie for Daily Dawg subscribers. If you are not signed up yet, send an email to email@example.com.
Maybe today we will talk about the utter unfairness of the fact that we men are still required to register for the draft while you women are not. What’s with that??? I thought we were living in the Age of Aquarius and Gender Equity. Where is Title IX on this? If you have been a regular reader you know that we have reported several cases of late about sex discrimination. The Supreme Court ruled that “sex” includes sexual orientation and transgender status. Transgender kids continue to prevail in litigation against school districts. A boy with long hair in a Texas district convinced the court that the dress code discriminated on the basis of sex.
And yet. At age 18, a young man is required under penalty of law to register for the draft, even though no draft exists. You still have to turn yourself into the federal government to be put on the list. You have to let the government know that you are willing to suffer and die for your country if called upon. Young women turn 18 and do not have this on the to-do list. Blatant discrimination based on sex. Where is the righteous indignation from the women’s groups?
This is not just a random rant. The issue came up recently before the 5th Circuit. The National Coalition for Men sued, claiming that the law requiring only men to register for the draft was unconstitutional. The 5th Circuit noted that the U.S. Supreme Court dealt with the same issue in 1981 and ruled that the male-only draft was legal, Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981). The 5th Circuit noted that it was required to follow Supreme Court precedent, that only SCOTUS can overrule its own precedents. National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System, August 13, 2020.
So what was SCOTUS thinking in 1981? The Court noted that President Carter had recommended to Congress that women should be included in draft registration. Congress gave the matter considerable thought and said no. The rationale was that a draft was viewed as something that would only occur in an emergency requiring combat troops. In 1981, the law barred women from combat positions. So the Court reasoned that, for purposes of military service, men and women were not “similarly situated.” So it was OK to require the guys to register when the gals did not have to.
Of course things are different now. Women can and do serve in combat. The sexes are “similarly situated” and so the rationale for the 1981 decision is kaput. So maybe if SCOTUS takes this up our country can rid itself of this anachronistic relic of the sexism of days past. I envision RBG writing the opinion for a unanimous Supreme Court.
All of this caused me to dig up my own Selective Service Registration Card, duly authorized shortly after my 18th birthday. It says that I stood 5’10” and weighed 130 pounds. Half of that is still true.
Hope to see you at 10:00 today!!
DAWG BONE: OR MAYBE CONGRESS WILL JUST DITCH THE DRAFT.