The Justice Department is challenging a ruling that found the US male-only draft unconstitutional

news
Capt. Michael Bruce, outgoing commander of Echo Battery, Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, hands the battery guidon to 1st Lt. Jessi Wieck during a Change of Command ceremony at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, April 12, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/Gunnery Sgt. T. T. Parish)

Editor's Note: This article by Patricia Kime originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Justice Department has appealed a Texas judge's ruling that the country's male-only draft registration system is unconstitutional.


Attorneys for the Selective Service System filed paperwork Monday over a ruling in February by Houston-based Judge Gray Miller, who decided that the U.S. government's requirement that only male U.S. citizens register for a potential draft is discriminatory under the Fifth Amendment's equal protection clause.

Miller stopped short of ordering the Selective System to include women, and it continues to require that only men register at age 18.

But the federal government appealed the case after the plaintiffs this month requested a motion to expand the ruling to require that either both genders register, or neither do.

In its opposition to the request, the government argued that such a decision would be "particularly problematic."

"It would impose a draft registration on all eligible American women by judicial fiat before Congress has considered how to address the matter. No party before this Court represents the interests of those who would be impacted by this," wrote Justice Department attorney Michael Gerardi on April 15.

The appeal now moves the case to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It was initially filed in 2013 by Texas resident James Lesmeister and San Diego resident Anthony Davis, backed by the National Coalition for Men, who argued that it is discriminatory because it precludes 50 percent of the population from draft eligibility.

The legal case continues as a congressional commission debates whether the country needs a system for a military draft and who should be required to register.

The National Commission on Military, National and Public Service is expected to release a report next year on recommendations for the Selective Service System and other federal opportunities for public service.

Between February and June, the commission plans 14 public hearings on public and military service. On April 24 in Washington, D.C., members will hear from experts on the need for compulsory or voluntary military mobilization and national emergencies. The next day, they will consider arguments for and against the current male-only system and future requirements.

In his argument against an injunction, Gerardi said that a judicial ruling before the commission has issued its findings would be inappropriate. "It should be left to Congress in consultation with the executive branch and military officials, to determine how to revise the registration system in response."

This article originally appeared on Military.com

More articles from Military.com:

SEE ALSO: Why The All-Volunteer Force Struggles More Than Draftees

WATCH NEXT: France Is Bringing Back Conscription

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephane Belcher)

The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would allow service members to seek compensation when military doctors make mistakes that harm them, but they would still be unable to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the federal government.

On Monday night, Congress announced that it had finalized the NDAA, which must be passed by the House and Senate before going to President Donald Trump. If the president signs the NDAA into law, it would mark the first time in nearly seven decades that U.S. military personnel have had legal recourse to seek payment from the military in cases of medical malpractice.

Read More Show Less
Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove (Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)

A major serving at U.S. Army Cyber Command has been charged with distributing child pornography, according to the Justice Department.

Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove, who is based at Fort Gordon, Georgia, has been remanded to the U.S. Marshals service, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia says.

Read More Show Less
Sailors from USS George Washington (CVN 73) wear-test the I-Boot 5 at Naval Station Norfolk. (U.S. Navy photo by Courtney Williams)

Navy senior leaders could decide whether or not to approve the new I-Boot 5 early in 2020, said Rob Carroll, director of the uniform matters office at the Chief of Naval Personnel's office.

"The I-Boot 5 is currently wrapping up its actual wear test, its evaluation," Carroll told Task & Purpose on Monday. "We're hoping that within the first quarter of calendar year 2020 that we'll be able to present leadership with the information that they need to make an informed decision."

Read More Show Less
Senator Jim Inhofe speaks with local reporters at a press conference held at the 138th Fighter Wing August 2, 2018. (U.S. National Guard/Staff Sgt. Rebecca R. Imwalle)

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn leveled harsh criticism last week at the contractor accused of negligence and fraudulent activity while operating private housing at Tinker Air Force Base and other military installations.

Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referred to Balfour Beatty Communities as "notorious." Horn, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told a company executive she was "incredibly disappointed you have failed to live up to your responsibility for taking care of the people that are living in these houses."

Read More Show Less
U.S. Senator Rick Scott speaks during a press conference at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, April 29, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Monica Roybal)

The Saudi national who killed three students on a U.S. Naval Air station in Pensacola was in the United States on a training exchange program.

On Sunday, Sen. Rick Scott said the United States should suspend that program, which brings foreign nationals to America for military training, pending a "full review."

Read More Show Less