WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Monday that for now it’ll be up to Congress, not the court, to decide whether to change the requirement that only men must register for the draft. It’s one of the few areas of federal law where men and women are still treated differently.
In a statement, three justices said Congress is weighing whether to change the Military Selective Service Act, which requires men but not women to register for the draft when they turn 18. They said that was a reason for the court to kick the matter back to lawmakers.
In recent years, bills to require women to register for the draft have been proposed in the House but not gone anywhere. Just last year, however, a congressional commission concluded that the “time is right” to extend the obligation to register to women. The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the report this year, and Sotomayor pointed to the report and the hearing, suggesting Congress is currently studying the issue.