The nation's high court is being asked to determine if it is sex discrimination that men must register for the draft when they reach the age of 18-years-old while women do not face the same mandate.
The Associated Press reported that there has not been a draft since the Vietnam War, but the registration mandate is among the remaining areas of federal law that deals with males and females differently. The Supreme Court justices may reveal as soon as Monday if they will hear the case related to the Military Selective Service Act.
The high court would not determine if women must register for the draft, but only whether the present system is constitutional, the AP noted. If the present system is deemed unconstitutional, Congress would determine how to proceed, either by legislating that everyone must register or by determining that registration is no longer required.
The outlet reported that American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project Director Ria Tabacco Mar said that making men register levies a "serious burden on men that’s not being imposed on women."
Men who fail to register can forfeit eligibility for student loans and civil service employment. Failure to register is a felony punishable with a fine of as much as $250,000 and five years imprisonment, according to the AP.
"It’s also sending a tremendously harmful message that women are less fit than men to serve their country in this particular way and conversely that men are less fit than women to stay home as caregivers in the event of an armed conflict. We think those stereotypes demean both men and women," Tabacco Mar said.
The Supreme Court in 1981 voted 6-3 to uphold the male-only draft registration mandate, according to the AP.