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WOMEN AND THE DRAFT print this form using Adobe Acrobat Reader Printer Friendly Version

Women Aren't Required to Register

Here's why:

THE LAW
Selective Service law as it is written now refers specifically to "male persons" in stating who must register and who would be drafted. For women to be required to register with Selective Service, Congress would have to amend the law.

THE SUPREME COURT
The constitutionality of excluding women was tested in the courts. A Supreme Court decision in 1981, Rostker v. Goldberg, held that registering only men did not violate the due process clause of the Constitution.

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Following a unanimous recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced, on January 24, 2013, the end of the direct ground combat exclusion rule for female service members. The service branches continue to move forward with a plan to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service. Ongoing project is still underway.

 

NOTE: The Selective Service System, if given the mission and additional modest resources, is capable of registering and drafting women.

(A backgrounder on Women and the Draft is available at this site.)

 

Last Updated February 25, 2014
©2014 Selective Service System