Last week, in one of his last acts as Defense Secretary for the Obama Administration, Leon Panetta formally lifted the ban on women serving in combat positions. Does that mean that our daughters must register for the draft when they turn 18 years old just like our sons must do? It seems that the law may now have to change so as to require our daughters to register for the draft.
In a 1981 case called Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981), the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the argument that the draft is unconstitutional because only men are required by law to register. In so holding, the Court ruled that the Selective Service process is designed to enable the federal government to assemble "combat-ready" people. Because women were excluded from combat in 1981, there was no basis for requiring them to participate in the draft. As a result, the law was permissible as written.
With the recent lifting of the ban on women in combat, however, the Supreme Court's rationale in Rostker v. Goldberg may no longer hold up. As a result, the law may have to be changed to require women to register for the draft in order for the law to pass constitutional muster.
So what does the Ridgewood/Glen Rock community think? Do you support the move lifting the ban on women in combat as a pro-equality, positive for women and our society as a whole, or do you believe that the consequence of requiring women to register for possible involuntary combat roles is a mistake?