TEXAS – A federal judge has ruled that a military draft targeting only men is unconstitutional, and declared that the “average woman could conceivably be better suited physically for some of today’s combat positions than the average man.”
The ruling came as the most significant legal challenge to the system since the Supreme Court in 1981 declared an all-male draft to be constitutional and claimed woman could be excluded due to not being “similarly situated” with men for draft purposes.
In 2015, women’s roles in the military expanded to all combat roles.
The change prompted a debate in Congress over whether the draft requirement should be extended to women. This led to the creation of the congressionally mandated National Commission on Military, National and Public Service.
“The Commission is studying a wide range of possible changes, including not only whether women should register, but whether the nation even needs a registration system,” Joe Heck, Commission Chairman, said. “The district court’s opinion means change is inevitable and the status quo is untenable.”
The federal judge Gary Miller said the draft should apply to both men and women. But, Miller has not issued an injunction against the federal policy.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)