Instead of dismantling male-only military draft, judge rules women should be included
On Friday, Senior Judge Gray Miller of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that a male-only military draft is unconstitutional.
The National Public Radio (NPR) reports federal judge Miller wrote, “While historical restrictions on women in the military may have justified past discrimination, men and women are now similarly situated for purposes of a draft or registration for a draft. If there ever was a time to discuss ‘the place of women in the Armed Services,’ that time has passed.”
The U.S. Military Selective Service Act historically stated that only men through the ages of 18 to 25 can be accepted in the military draft. Miller reasoned that the conscription violates the equal protection provisions stated in the Constitution.
Since the Department of Defense removed the ban on woman in combat and other restrictions regarding gender, Miller wrote that it “can no longer justify the MSSA’s gender-based discrimination.”
Marine Kate Germano, a retired Marine, told the New York Times, “It would be an advantage to the country, and also for men, who have [borne] the preponderance of the burden since the draft was established. Why not leverage all of the talent pool?”
While the removal of the ban on women in combat roles has been framed as a progressive societal change, the issues of U.S. militarization and imperialism was notably absent from this debate of creating an egalitarian society. It also missed the expansive criticism of U.S. foreign policy in validating the necessity of perpetual war by including more members of society into a compulsory military draft. Instead of calling for the end of forced military drafts altogether, it’s telling that “progressivism” can be hijacked to mean the inclusion of a more diverse group of people into the violence of imperialism.