The Draft Should be Abolished for Everyone — Not Just Women, by Ryan McMaken

The draft should not apply to women any more than it should apply to men, which means not at all. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

On Friday, Federal Judge Gary Miller declared the federal government’s policy of male-only conscription to be unconstitutional.  Miller ruled that past prohibitions on women in combat may have legally  justified the all-male policy, but since the military has integrated women into combat positions, the past policy can no longer be constitutionally justified.

The ruling can be taken two ways. It can be seen as a ruling that expands federal powers to conscript through the Selective Service system, and thus expand the military’s power over the everyday lives of Americans. This is true in the strictly legal sense. On the other hand, the ruling could be interpreted as a political blow against conscription since the number of voters negatively impacted by conscription is now far higher than before. Apparently sympathetic to this latter interpretation, USAToday described the ruling as  “the biggest legal blow to the Selective Service System since the Supreme Court upheld the draft registration process in 1981.” After all, those who brought the lawsuit, an organization called “The National Coalition for Men” was expressly attempting to highlight the injustice — from a male point of view — of being the only group legally obligated to submit to what is essentially registration for possible future slave labor. (Miller, however, does not actually order to the Pentagon to expand Selective Service eligibility. Any concrete legal action will likely come in the future, but those seeking to make such a move will be emboldened by Miller’s declaration.)

Experience suggests, however, that an expansion of the Selective Service requirement will manifest itself largely as a matter of “equality” rather than as a ploy to highlight the general injustice of conscription overall.

On Friday, Federal Judge Gary Miller declared the federal government’s policy of male-only conscription to be unconstitutional.  Miller ruled that past prohibitions on women in combat may have legally  justified the all-male policy, but since the military has integrated women into combat positions, the past policy can no longer be constitutionally justified.

The ruling can be taken two ways. It can be seen as a ruling that expands federal powers to conscript through the Selective Service system, and thus expand the military’s power over the everyday lives of Americans. This is true in the strictly legal sense. On the other hand, the ruling could be interpreted as a political blow against conscription since the number of voters negatively impacted by conscription is now far higher than before. Apparently sympathetic to this latter interpretation, USAToday described the ruling as  “the biggest legal blow to the Selective Service System since the Supreme Court upheld the draft registration process in 1981.” After all, those who brought the lawsuit, an organization called “The National Coalition for Men” was expressly attempting to highlight the injustice — from a male point of view — of being the only group legally obligated to submit to what is essentially registration for possible future slave labor. (Miller, however, does not actually order to the Pentagon to expand Selective Service eligibility. Any concrete legal action will likely come in the future, but those seeking to make such a move will be emboldened by Miller’s declaration.)

Experience suggests, however, that an expansion of the Selective Service requirement will manifest itself largely as a matter of “equality” rather than as a ploy to highlight the general injustice of conscription overall.

 

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