The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday struck down a lower court’s ruling and declared that it is constitutional for only men to register for the draft, as reported by The Hill.
A federal court in 2019 attempted to strike down the U.S. Supreme Court’s original ruling in 1981 that women could be excluded from registering with the Selective Service System since combat jobs at the time were made exclusively for men.
In overturning the lower court’s ruling, the Fifth Circuit’s three-judge panel reasoned they did not have the authority to overrule a Supreme Court ruling due to its superiority over all other judicial institutions in the nation.
The court did acknowledge, however, that “the factual underpinning of the controlling Supreme Court decision has changed,” as women are now able to apply for combat positions in the armed services.
The legal battle over the draft began with a lawsuit from the National Coalition for Men, which argued that maintaining the draft for only one of the two sexes is discrimination, and thus unconstitutional.
Although the draft ended in 1973 and has shown no signs of ever being revived, all men in the United States between the ages of 18 and 25 are still required to register with the Selective Service. If they do not, then they risk penalties such as the denial of federal financial aid for attending college.