Group sues to force women to register for draft, judge rules he won’t delay case from progressing

The last draft happened 45 years ago. And since its inception, and despite court challenges, only men had to register with Selective Service System, but that may be changing after a judge in Houston, Texas.

While the last draft notices were issued as the Vietnam War was ending, men to this day, must register when they turn 18. The draft was started to fill ranks during world wars.

Women had been excluded, and it was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1981 since women didn't serve in combat. They were actually excluded from combat roles. That changed in 2015, USA Today reported.

U.S. District Judge Gray Miller decided he could not grant the government’s request to stay a lawsuit that would basically order the Selective Service System to require women also register when they are of age.

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The suit was brought by the National Coalition of Men, a men’s rights nonprofit group.

Miller wrote in his decision that excluding women from the draft did not make constitutional sense, NBC News reported.

An attorney for the coalition said women “should face the same repercussions as men for any noncompliance” when it comes to registration.

If men do not register after they turn 18, they can be denied federal employment and student loans. Women are prohibited from registering, USA Today reported.

The group also released a statement over the weekend saying keeping the draft as male only, "is an aspect of socially institutionalized male disposability and helps reinforce the stereotypes that support discrimination against men in other areas such as child custody, divorce, criminal sentencing, paternity fraud, education, public benefits, domestic violence services, due process rights, genital autonomy and more," NBC News reported.

The ruling does not mean women being eligible for the draft is a done deal. The National Commission on Military, National and Public Service, is reviewing whether women should be required to be listed with the Selective Service System. The report is due in March 2020, according to NBC News. But while an interim report from the commission was released last month and gave no indication of a decision on women and the draft, the commission chairman, Joe Heck, said, "I don't think we will remain with the status quo," USA Today reported.

Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kris Bonet

Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kris Bonet

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