U.S. District Judge raises controversy after declaring male-only Selective Service unconstitutional

District Judge Gray Miller brought attention to the controversy after sending Congress a ruling in late February.

photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

District Judge Gray Miller brought attention to the controversy after sending Congress a ruling in late February.

Anthony Cepeda, Staff Writer

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U.S. District Judge Gray Miller decided a male-only draft was unconstitutional through a ruling that was sent to Congress on Feb. 22. Miller believes a male-only Selective Service System (SSS) violates Fifth Amendment Equal Protection principles.

Selective Service right now means male citizens who reach 18 must register for the military. This is to put a person into a military system that is designed to choose people if a draft is ever needed. The sign up itself is different from a draft in that a draft requires male citizens to join the army and fight. Selective Service is just registration.

“This could raise the potential of women in society and make them stronger in the military,” junior Kanishka Kamal said.

Removing the male qualification from the Selective Service would allow women to take a larger part in the military. However, some women cannot be part of this type of service because of physical conditions such as pregnancy, or they may choose not to take part due to situations at home such as taking care of a child by themselves.

“[They cannot take part in service] if they have special conditions [such as pregnancy or] having to take care of a child at home,” Kamal said.

Recently, there have been women protesting and trying to stop Judge Miller from allowing women to be drafted through Selective Service. This would continue to only allow men to be possibly drafted in the future. Protestors call allowing women to be drafted a sexist act.

“No, I don’t [think it is sexist],” junior Megan Evans said. “If we want equal rights, we need equal responsibilities.”

Defense Department officials in support of Miller’s decision told Congress that limiting Selective Service to half the population would limit the military in a national emergency.

“It’s all a numbers game,” Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (NJROTC) teacher Gerald Provancha said. “Less than 1% of our population serves in the military. Selective Service itself isn’t a draft. It’s registering to improve military numbers.”