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Expanding the Selective Service: Legal Issues Surrounding Women and the Draft

  • Author(s):
  • Jonathan M. Gaffney

Should American women be required to register for the draft alongside their male counterparts? On March 25, 2020, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (the Commission) released a report addressing this and other questions relating to military, national, and public service. The Commission recommended that women should be required to register with the Selective Service System and be included in any future draft. While the Commission considered changes to the law, recent court decisions have taken diverging views on whether the current male-only registration requirement is constitutional. Most recently, on August 13, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Fifth Circuit) ruled that a nearly forty-year-old Supreme Court case, which held that male-only registration is constitutional, is still controlling law.

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Format:
  • White Paper
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Website:Visit Publisher Website
Publisher:Congressional Research Service
Published:September 14, 2020
License:Public Domain

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