Uncle Sam Wants You, Young Lady!
Last week, in one of his last acts as Defense Secretary for the Obama Administration, Leon Panetta formally lifted the ban on women serving in combat positions. Does that mean that our daughters must register with Selective Service when they turn 18 years old just like our sons must do? It seems that the law may now have to change so as to require our daughters to register (and be eligible) for the draft.
In a 1981 case called Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981), the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the argument that the draft is unconstitutional because only men are required by law to register. In so holding, the Court ruled that the Selective Service process is designed to enable the federal government to assemble "combat-ready" people. Because women were excluded from combat in 1981, there was no basis for requiring them to participate in the draft. As a result, the law was permissible as written.
With the recent lifting of the ban on women in combat, however, the Supreme Court's rationale in Rostker v. Goldberg may no longer hold up. As a result, the law may have to be changed to require women to register for the draft in order for the law to pass constitutional muster.
In short, the Obama Administration has likely (and stealthily) taken away the protection that women had of not being forced into military service (conscription) should the draft be reinstituted. The only public discussion (and only when the decision was imminent) was focused on how women who want to be in combat should be allowed to serve in combat positions. There was no discussion about the consequnece of lifting the ban for women who do not have an interest in combat.
Yes, there are many men who do not have an interest in serving in combat positions, but that is besides the point. What the Obama Administration has done, under the radar, is to give some women (those who want to serve in combat) a "right" at the expense of the protection previously afforded to all women.
Now that's a war on women!
Vostra Guida is the pen name of a pro-life conservative living in a deep blue state.