Friday, April 29, 2016

Women would be required to register for the draft, according to recent House Armed Services Committee bill

The House Armed Services Committee has approved a proposal (part of a defense authorization bill) to require women to register for Selective Service.  The support seems to be somewhat bipartisan. Karoun Demirjian has the story in the Washington Post today, Friday, April 29, 2016. p. A16    The measure would have to survive a vote in the full House and then Senate.

Duncan Hunter (R-CA) called draft registration “sexist” but is still against the bill.  But if women can serve in combat now, there is more philosophical justification for mandatory registration. The Supreme Court case

The news story notes that in 1981, Rostker v. Goldberg, where the Supreme Court accepted the constitutionality of the male-only draft registration (although the actual draft had ended in 1973), assumes that the ineligibility of women for some combat roles at the time could justify “unequal” treatment of genders. It's still relevant that while individually, some women are capable of any comba operation, statistically they would not be so if conscripted.   Women are drafted in Israel.

Of course, another question is, why do we keep Selective Service registration at all?  In the 1990s, the Clinton administration (which had started the long political struggle to accept gays) wanted to keep the draft for access to health care expertise.

Remember the slogan when women went to work in factories in WWII, to "free the men to fight". Hardly equal sacrifice.

The Mises Institute posts an article by Ron Paul, "Drafting women means equality in slavery."

Picture: A volunteer fire department in Grottoes, VA, near the recent wildfire sites.

Update: May 13, 2016

The corresponding Senate committee has passed a similar bill, AP by Richard Lardner story on PBS New Hour here. Registration could be required by 2018.  The title of the story "Coming soon, a military draft for women?" sounds misleading.

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