“They are going to draft your daughters for their forever wars,” Ben Domenech of The Federalist rages. This after a federal judge in Texas ruled Friday that a male-only draft is unconstitutional in a surprise decision that only began to hit the press late Sunday via a USA Today report.
US District Judge Gray Miller of the Southern District of Texas wrote in his ruling that the “time has passed” on continued debate for women in the military, regardless of if the controversial issue of women serving in combat “may have justified past discrimination.”
Miller issued the decision in NCFM v. Selective Service in the form of a declaratory judgment rather than an injunction, meaning that while declaring the ban on women being drafted to be “unconstitutional” and therefore unlawful, he stopped short of issuing an order on precisely how the government should change Selective Service to make it constitutional.
“The average woman could conceivably be better suited physically for some of today’s combat positions than the average man, depending on which skills the position required. Combat roles no longer uniformly require sheer size or muscle,” Miller wrote.
Ironically, the decision comes based on a complaint brought by a men’s equal rights group. The National Coalition for Men (NCFM), founded in 1977 to “raise awareness about the ways sex discrimination affects men and boys,” challenged the all-male draft as discriminatory.
Though America hasn’t witnessed a military draft since 1973, during Vietnam, it has remained a remote but real possibility (assuming a World War III scenario) given the Selective Service System was reactivated in 1980, after the draft was previously discontinued at the end of the Vietnam War.
Women have always been able to volunteer for the military, and have even recently been admitted to combat roles — a controversial reversal of policy that took effect in 2016 — but a female eligible draft has seemed an impossibility.
I have been warning this was coming for years. Bush appointee btw. They are going to draft your daughters for their forever wars. https://t.co/vhxQedkzS4
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) February 24, 2019
However, an 11-member federal commission has recently been studying the future of the Selective Service System, including whether women should be included in the draft. In light of the bombshell NCFM v. Selective Service decision, commission chairman Joe Heck told USA Today, “I don’t think we will remain with the status quo.”
Marc Angelucci, attorney for the National Coalition for Men, said in a NCFM press release after the ruling, “Women are now allowed in combat, so this decision is long overdue.” He continued, explaining the position of the NCFM, “After decades of sex discrimination against men in the Selective Service, the courts have finally found it unconstitutional to force only men to register.” Every male American citizen is required to register with the Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday or they can face repercussions ranging from losing student aid or government job eligibility.
The attorney continued, “Even without a draft, men still face prison, fines, and denial of federal loans for not registering or for not updating the government of their whereabouts. Since women will be required to register with the Selective Service, they should face the same repercussions as men for any noncompliance.”
Angelucci acknowledged to USA Today that the ruling is ultimately “symbolic” at this point; however, “either they need to get rid of the draft registration, or they need to require women to do the same thing that men do.”
Interestingly, the judge based the decision in part on the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case, which overturned the ban on same-sex marriage. According to USA Today:
Quoting the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning bans on same-sex marriage, Miller ruled that restrictions based on gender “must substantially serve an important governmental interest today.“
Among the more angry responses to the ruling is from popular columnist for The American Conservative, Rod Dreher. Dreher said in the wake of the Texas federal court’s decision:
I can put up with draft registration, but the day the United States Government attempts to draft my daughter is the day that I take her abroad to dodge this unjust law. The idea that the US Government would compel our daughters — not “offer them the opportunity to,” but compel — to go into combat because of egalitarian cultural madness is dangerous and offensive.
And Dreher further quoted an interesting take from an unknown commentator on the “egalitarian cultural madness” which increasingly recognizes no distinctions among the sexes, but with significant consequences:
Girls, let’s do a refresher course: If you’re going to play a sport (including wrestling) you’ll have to do it against people with a Y chromosome and a penis, and you’ll also have to share bathrooms with those people, and you’ll be drafted into the armed forces to fight the forever wars caused and led almost exclusively by those same people — so when are you going to thank us for rescuing you from the evils of patriarchy?
However symbolic the court’s ruling might be for the near future, it remains that as recently as last year the White House formally acknowledged to Congress that the US is currently at war in seven countries.
Dreher mused in conclusion, “You have to wonder if an American government that would frog-march its young women to the front lines is an American government worth obeying. Well, maybe you have to wonder it; I damn sure don’t.”
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