The nation’s oldest men’s group has filed an unprecedented lawsuit against the Selective Service System (SSS), alleging that the military draft amounts to “discrimination against males” and “unconstitutional” treatment of young men.
The lawsuit, filed by California lawyer Marc Angelucci, challenges the SSS’s policy of requiring that all United States men sign up for the draft. According to federal law, all men must register within 30 days of their 18th birthday or face a variety of penalties.
“It’s what a man’s got to do. By registering, a young man stays eligible for jobs, college loans and job grants, job training, driver’s license in most states, and U.S. citizenship for most immigrant men,” exhorts the draft’s website.
Obtained by PJ Media, the lawsuit explains that about 16 million men are currently registered by the SSS. These men are, essentially, “on call” soldiers until they turn 26. The SSS claims this is “voluntary participation.” The lawsuit deems it “unconstitutional.”
In an interview, Angelucci said that the harms of the SSS are “obvious.”
“I doubt anyone would question the harm if we only forced women to register their bodies as on-call warriors who have to continue reporting their whereabouts to the federal government for years under penalty of prison, fines, or loss of financial aid,” he said.
Men do indeed get penalized if they fail to register, he added. In one high-profile case, Elgin v. Bush, three men working for the federal government lost their jobs after it was discovered that they failed to register for the draft when they were young.
Even the U.S. Department of Defense agrees. In a 2017 report, department officials wrote that the SSS contradicts the “nation’s touchstone values of fair and equitable treatment.”
“Men are treated differently than their female counterparts, for reasons seemingly grounded in gender; this inequity creates the perception of discrimination and unfair dealing—a tarnish that attaches to the military selective service system writ large.”
To fix this, the lawsuit urges the SSS to change course.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they want women to be drafted. The plaintiffs take no position on whether the solution should be to end the draft entirely, or to require both men and women to register, said Angelucci.
Their only position is that male-only requirements should be recognized as unconstitutional, Angelucci explained. He filed the lawsuit on behalf of the National Coalition For Men (NCFM), a 501(c)3 nonprofit in California.
The lawsuit is NCFM’s first challenge against the federal government.
Warren Farrell — author of “The Myth of Male Power” (1993) — explains that the SSS is just one way that men are “the disposable sex” in society. The fact that few recognize this is further evidence of the depth of “unconscious sexism” against men.
“Males aren’t expendable—we need them to be willing to protect us in war, fighting fires and in all the hazardous jobs—but when they come home with PTSD, they’re disposable, and calling men heroes if they sacrifice their life is a social bribe,” he tells PJ Media.
In his most recent book, “The Boy Crisis” (co-authored with John Gray, PhD.), Farrell worries about the message this discrimination sends to young men.
“In school, your son learns that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees equal protection for both sexes, but when your son turns eighteen, he discovers that only he and other boys will be required by U.S. law to register for the draft.”
“The catch-22 of your son as hero is that the more he becomes a hero as a killer, the less likely he is to become a hero as a husband… what he does to be loved [by the country] often divorces him from love [by his partner].”
The SSS did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit. A Texas court is scheduled to determine a trial date in January 2019.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen.
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