US District Judge Gray Miller, a George W. Bush appointee, made the decision that not drafting women is unconstitutional. He could be considered an activist judge, since in 1981, the Supreme Court ruled that it was reasonable as well as legal not to include women in the draft.
Federal judges are supposed to look to the Supreme Court for guidance and in this case, he obviously didn’t. When the case is appealed, it will be interesting to see if the court actually hears the case or whether they will just slap the judge down for going beyond his limit.
U.S. District Judge Gray Miller ruled late Friday that while historical restrictions on women serving in combat “may have justified past discrimination,” men and women are now equally able to fight. In 2015, the Pentagon lifted all restrictions for women in military service.
The case was brought by the National Coalition For Men, a men’s rights group, and two men who argued the all-male draft was unfair.
Men who fail to register with the Selective Service System at their 18th birthday can be denied public benefits such as federal employment and student loans. Women cannot register for Selective Service.
The ruling comes as an 11-member commission is studying the future of the draft, including whether women should be included or whether there should continue to be draft registration at all.
The National Commission on Military, National and Public Service released an interim report last month giving no hints on where it would come down on those questions. But, commission chairman Joe Heck told USA TODAY, “I don’t think we will remain with the status quo.”