The Supreme Court has refused to hear a case challenging the process by which only men are required to register for the military draft.
In a three-page statement, Justice Sonia Sotomayor acknowledged that the roles military women now assume are quite different than in years past. But she stopped short of agreeing to take up a legal challenge to male-only conscription that was filed by the National Coalition for Men and other advocacy groups.
Sotomayor cited the establishment in 2016 of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, which studied the issue in depth and recommended opening the draft to both sexes.
The statement also recognized a recent report by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed, D- Rhode Island, who expressed “hope” that the next defense-spending bill would contain provisions requiring women to register for the draft.
“It remains to be seen, of course, whether Congress will end gender-based registration under the Military Selective Service Act,” Sotomayor wrote. “But at least for now, the court’s longstanding deference to Congress on matters of national defense and military affairs cautions against granting review while Congress actively weighs the issue.”
Justices Stephen Breyer and Brett Kavanaugh joined Sotomayor in denying the petitioners’ request for certiorari.