Expanding the Selective Service: Legal Issues Surrounding Women and the Draft [Updated September 14, 2020] [open pdf - 666KB]
From the Document: "Should American women be required to register for the draft alongside their male counterparts? On March 25, 2020, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (the Commission) released a report addressing this and other questions relating to military, national, and public service. The Commission recommended that women should be required to register with the Selective Service System and be included in any future draft. While the Commission considered changes to the law, recent court decisions have taken diverging views on whether the current male-only registration requirement is constitutional. Most recently, on August 13, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Fifth Circuit) ruled that a nearly forty-year-old Supreme Court case, which held that male-only registration is constitutional, is still controlling law. This Sidebar provides a brief legal background of the Selective Service System, including legal consequences of failing to register. It next describes judicial challenges to the male-only draft and legislative efforts to require women to register. The Sidebar then discusses the creation and conclusions of the Commission. Finally, it examines issues for Congress."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10491
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/