Sunday, 10 July 2022 / Edward Hasbrouck / Edward Hasbrouck's blog - Once again in 2022, sooner than we expected, Congress is considering proposals either to finally end the widely disregarded, unenforced, and unenforceable requirement for men ages 18-26 to register and report changes of address to the Selective Service System for use in a future military draft — or to try to expand draft registration to young women as well as young men.
Expanding draft registration to women is a bad idea that won’t go away until Congress ends draft registration entirely.
It has become increasingly obvious over the decades since 1980 that requiring men but not women to register for the draft is so patently sexist as to be of dubious Constitutionality. This has created pressure on Congress to resolve a longstanding stalemate: The attempt to get young men to register and report address changes has been a failure since its resumption, after a five-year hiatus, in 1980. But there has been no face-saving way for Congress to repeal the registration requirement without admitting to an embarrassing failure in the face of popular direct action, which would empower and encourage young people to further defiance of government orders.
For the last five years, Congress (and, for part of that time, a national commission appointed by Congress and President Obama) have been considering what to do about the Selective Service System, in light of this situation. If the sexist status quo is no longer tenable, the options are either to end draft registration entirely (the only realistic choice) or to double down on its failure (and its sexism) by trying to expand it to women.