by Neil Shah
A Louisiana federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the all-male military draft is constitutional, according to the Associated Press.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans overturned a Texas court’s 2019 decision, saying in the newest decision that “only the Supreme Court may revise its precedent,” the AP reported.
California-based men’s rights group the National Coalition for Men and two individuals, James Lesmeister and Anthony Davis, filed a lawsuit against the Selective Service and its director, Donald Benton, for unlawful sex discrimination, according to court documents.
The case was initially argued in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, per court documents.
“At this time NCFM is exploring its options, including filing a Petition for Write of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court,” the National Coalition for Men said in a statement following the most recent court decision.
Selective Service System spokesperson Jennifer Burke told the Daily Caller News Foundation, “The recent court ruling regarding Selective Service indicates that the agency’s current registration efforts remain constitutional.”
“Regardless, the agency remains capable of adapting to any potential changes to the law, should they occur,” Burke added.
The case was argued in March and was the result of a lawsuit by the National Coalition for Men and two men challenging the male-only draft. They argued that the 1981 case was decided at a time when women were largely absent from combat. https://t.co/I2oAIwpPRv
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) August 13, 2020
The National Commission on Military, National and Public Service said in March 2020 report,”[T]he time is right to extend Selective Service System registration to include men and women, between the ages of 18 and 26. This is a necessary and fair step, making it possible to draw on the talent of a unified Nation in a time of national emergency.”
The federal commission was created to conduct a “review of the military selective service process,” according to its website.
The 5th Circuit court cited the 1981 United States Supreme Court case Rostker v. Goldberg, the AP reported, which stated that a male-only draft does not violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, according to the court’s opinion.
“Men and women, because of the combat restrictions on women, are simply not similarly situated for purposes of a draft or registration for a draft,” the Supreme Court wrote in the 1981 case, according to the opinion.
– – –
Neil Shah is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.