Given that 2021 seems to be the “wokest” year yet, it’s not a surprise that there’s a lawsuit pending over the constitutionality of America’s military draft, which currently only applies to men between the ages of 18 and 26. What is surprising, however, is the White House’s response to it.
According to The Hill, President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) recently penned a 26-page letter arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court should decline to issue a ruling on the topic of the draft.
In the letter, the DOJ insisted that military matters are best left up to Congress, which is said to be currently studying potential changes to America’s draft system.
What’s going on?
In 2013, the Department of Defense lifted restrictions on women entering combat roles in the U.S. military. But a recent lawsuit filed by two individuals and a group called the National Coalition for Men — with the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — argues, in the words of The Hill, that “the elimination of sex-based barriers in the military without a concurrent broadening of the draft to include women created unjustified sex-based discrimination against men.”
The last time that the draft law was challenged was in 1981 in the Rostker v. Goldberg case, which resulted in a 6-3 ruling by the high court ordering the U.S. draft process to remain unchanged because, at the time, women were not allowed to serve in combat roles, as Just the News reports.
Obviously, things have changed — drastically — and there are people who would like to see the U.S. Military Selective Service Act reflect those changes.
In 2019, a Texas-based federal judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in this latest case, The Hill reported, but the ruling was later reversed by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which prompted a potential look at the case by the SCOTUS.
What’s the big deal?
Now, however, Biden’s acting Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar has written a statement to the high court in which she urges its nine justices not to take up the case. According to Just the News, Prelogar said that Congress is currently deciding whether to expand America’s Selective Service System to include female draftees.
“Any reconsideration of the constitutionality of the male-only registration requirement, however, would be premature at this time,” she wrote. “The court should defer to Congress where possible in this sensitive military context.”
Prelogar went on: “Congress’s attention to the question may soon eliminate any need for the court to grapple with that constitutional question.”
According to the Military Times, several high-profile retired generals have publicly stated their support for changing the draft rules, including former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and several others at their level.
The high court will likely discuss whether they’ll take the case in an upcoming conference. It will take at least four justices to agree to hear the dispute for a petition to be granted, The Hill notes.