The Addition of Women to the Selective Service

U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe

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Ella Arnold, Co-Editor

Nearly 45 years after the draft that required all men aged 18 through 26 to sign up for Selective Service in the Vietnam War, U.S District Judge Gray Miller has ruled that excluding women from the draft is unconstitutional in the 21st century.

The National Coalition of Men, which had been seeking an injunction requiring that women be added to the Selective Service, filed a formal lawsuit, and it was ruled by Judge Miller on Friday that the draft is, indeed, unconstitutional.

“If there ever was a time to discuss ‘the place of women in the Armed Services’, that time has passed,” said Miller in an official statement.

According to Fox News, women now make up 20 percent of the Air Force, 19 percent of the Navy, 15 percent of the Army and 8.6 percent of the Marines. In the 1981 Supreme Court case Rostker v. Goldberg, it was ruled that women should be excluded from the draft due to the fact that women were excluded from being involved in armed services at all. This is no longer relevant, because women are now capable of holding any position of armed service that they want. So what grounds does the coalition have to deem the inclusion of women in the draft constitutional or not?

“Women are now allowed in combat, so this decision is long overdue,” said Marc Angelucci, an attorney for the coalition.

Kate Germano, a retired Marine with 20 years of service under her belt, agrees with Angelucci. In an interview with Ms. Germano, The New York Times notes that, in reference to the fact that women make up more than half of the American adult population, Ms. Germano says, “Why not leverage all of the talent pool?”

Another school of thought — one that believes that the issue of the Selective Service is more impactful to men instead of women — also exists. Men’s advocacy groups such as the National Coalition for Men, a men’s rights group,  believe that the addition of women to the draft makes men less of an “expendability” in modern America. Instead of focusing on the step that draft inclusion would be for women’s rights, they believe that including women would improve the military for men.

Although a final report deciding the draft isn’t due to be released until March of 2020, the issue of equality and advantages to adding women to the selective service is still a hot topic in politics.

“Personally, I don’t think we’ll remain with the status quo,” says Joe Heck, the chairman of the commission of 11 people that will be deciding the fate of the draft. “But where we end up on the spectrum is yet to be determined.”