News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Community News Network

January 28, 2013

Slate's Explainer: Would women get drafted?

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced last week that women would be allowed to serve in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of jobs to female soldiers. Readers are wondering: Now that women can officially take to the battlefield alongside men, do they have to register for the Selective Service?

Not just yet. When President Jimmy Carter renewed the Selective Service in 1980 in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Congress decided not to require women to register, in part because women could not serve in combat. Legislators also feared public outrage over ordering women to sign up for a potential draft, a move that would have been unprecedented in U.S. history. (One of the most effective arguments against the Equal Rights Amendment of the 1970s was the possibility that it would force women into the draft and military combat.) A group of men sued the government over the decision, arguing that the move violated the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Although the challengers won in a lower court, the Supreme Court ultimately sided with the government in a 6-3 vote.

Neither Congress nor the administration has announced plans to open the Selective Service to women since last week's historic announcement, but there's a good chance that could change in the near future. The Supreme Court's decision in 1981 was based largely on the exclusion of women from combat. If Congress doesn't open the draft database to women in the near future, the Supreme Court might force its hand, deciding that there's no legal basis for distinguishing between men and women anymore.

Long before America contemplated sending women into battle, Congress considered drafting them. During World War II, the military automatically discharged any member of the Army Nurse Corps who married, leading to a shortage of nurses. In 1945, the House passed the Nurses Selective Service Act, which would have required the registration of young women with nursing credentials. President Roosevelt pushed the idea in his State of the Union speech, but, with the war nearing its end, the Senate decided the historic move was no longer necessary.

Canada established its own National Selective Service Women's Division during World War II, although it wasn't equivalent to a draft. The agency was merely a resource to help match willing female workers with open industrial jobs in the country's growing cities.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike Recording May Show Attempt at Crash Cover-up US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Girl Killed in Kansas After Police Chase Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism Raw: Eric Garner's Wife Collapses at Rally in NY Legendary Actor James Garner Dies Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks 45 Years Later, Buzz Aldrin on Walking on Moon Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Wisc. Twins Celebrate a Century of Laughter Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Ukraine Rebels: Black Boxes Will Be Returned Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran
NDN Video
Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon Spectacular lightning storm hits London Malaysian Flight Victim Was South Florida Grad Rory McIlroy on pace to break British Open records Officials Fear MH17 Site Now Tampered by Rebels Lowes employees repair Vietnam vet's wheelchair Widow of Staten Island man who died after NYPD takedown says he was unjustifiably targeted
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity