Rostker v. Goldberg
SCOTUS - 1981
- The Military Selective Service Act empowers the President to require the registration of every male citizen 18-26.
- SCOTUS held law constitutional.
- Does the requirement that only males register for the draft violate equal protection?
- The requirement that only males must register for the draft does not violate equal protection.
- Courts have very little competence in the area of war and the military; thus, the decisions of the legislative and executive branches are given great deference.
- There is no doubt that raising and supporting an army is an important gov't interest.
- The sole purpose of the draft is to raise an army for combat; thus, the Court must view the statute with this in mind.
- Congress determined that any future draft would be characterized by a need for combat troops.
- Women as a group, however, are not eligible for combat. (Navy and Air Force restrictions are statutory; Army and Marine restrictions are policies.)
- The existence of combat restrictions clearly indicates the basis for Congress's decision to exempt women from registration.
- Men and women, because of the combat restrictions on women, are simply not similarly situated for purposes of a draft or registration for a draft.
- There is no evidence that Congress concluded that every position in the military must be filled with combat-ready men.
- There are thousands of positions in the military which are not combat positions that women would be able to fill.
- Possible gender stereotype (male as protectors) rejected by Court, found constitutional.