Would your favorite presidential candidate force women to register for the military draft?
A federal court case, National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System, is bouncing around the Ninth Circuit. It challenges the male-only draft registration program as discriminatory against men.
Thirty-five years ago, when yours truly was fighting the draft, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a male-only program because women were then barred from combat. Now the All-Volunteer Force has opened all military fields to women, including combat roles. It follows that the federal courts will likely strike down male-only registration.
What will Congress do? What will the next commander-in-chief advocate? Allow the program to end — or mandate that both young men and young women register?
Hillary Clinton answered this question in 2008, during her first run for the presidency: yes, register women for the military draft.
What about the other presidential hopefuls?
Back in 1980, then-candidate Ronald Reagan pledged to end it, saying that conscription (and registration for it) “destroys the very values our society is committed to defending.”
Sadly, President Reagan continued draft registration, prosecuting me and others.
“The question is nothing less, than whether the most essential rights of personal liberty shall be surrendered,” the great Daniel Webster railed against conscription, “and despotism embraced in its worst form.”
Men and women have an equal right to freedom — not conscription. Free people will always volunteer to defend their country.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.