Monday, December 14, 2015
PASADENA, Calif. — Just days after the Defense Department decided to open all combat jobs to women, a federal appeals court on Tuesday weighed a legal challenge that contends the male-only draft registration is discriminatory.
A three-member panel with U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit heard arguments in a 2013 lawsuit filed by the National Coalition For Men and James Lesmeister but later dismissed by a district court judge. That judge, with the U.S. Central District of California, sided with the government, ruling the issue was “unripe” because the military was in the midst of revising its policies barring women from ground combat roles and it would require congressional action.
For the legal history of the draft and other military exclusions, see Jill Hasday, Fighting Women: The Military, Sex, and Extrajudicial Constitutional Change, 93 Minnesota L.Rev. 1 (2008).