DENVER — After the U.S. Supreme Court decided against hearing a case that argued women should be required to register for the military draft on Monday, federal lawmakers are now considering legislation to address the issue.
The Biden administration supported the Supreme Court’s decision and is urging lawmakers to act.
If Congress passes legislation requiring women to register for the draft, University of Colorado Boulder Law Professor Richard Collins said a draft could no longer be needed, due to an increase in Americans being eligible for mandatory military service.
“Congress would just simply eliminate registering for the draft at all,” Collins said.
In 2019, President Donald Trump banned most transgender Americans from joining the military. President Joe Biden recently overturned that ban.
Collins said a new law could also finally solve the question of gender identity and who can serve in the armed forces.
“If Congress takes up this issue, those questions will get debated and maybe even settled,” Collins said.
Collins said to understand the Supreme Court’s recent decision, it is important to look at past Supreme Court cases that address gender and the military.
“In 1981, the Supreme Court rejected a claim that the draft could not be male only,” Collins said.
But Collins said at that time, the court decided women could not register for the draft because they could not engage in armed combat.
In 2013, the Department of Defense lifted the combat ban on women in combat.