Rostker v. Goldberg
Overview
 
Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57
Case citation
Case citation is the system used in many countries to identify the decisions in past court cases, either in special series of books called reporters or law reports, or in a 'neutral' form which will identify a decision wherever it was reported...

 (1981), was a decision of the United States Supreme Court holding that the practice of requiring only men to register for the draft
Conscription in the United States
Conscription in the United States has been employed several times, usually during war but also during the nominal peace of the Cold War...

 was constitutional.

On July 2, 1980, President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 re-established the Military Selective Service System
Selective Service System
The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States government maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Most male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of...

 with a recommendation that the Act be extended to include women. After extensive hearings, floor debate and committee sessions on the matter, the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 enacted the law, as it had previously been, to apply to men only.
Encyclopedia
Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57
Case citation
Case citation is the system used in many countries to identify the decisions in past court cases, either in special series of books called reporters or law reports, or in a 'neutral' form which will identify a decision wherever it was reported...

 (1981), was a decision of the United States Supreme Court holding that the practice of requiring only men to register for the draft
Conscription in the United States
Conscription in the United States has been employed several times, usually during war but also during the nominal peace of the Cold War...

 was constitutional.

On July 2, 1980, President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 re-established the Military Selective Service System
Selective Service System
The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States government maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Most male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of...

 with a recommendation that the Act be extended to include women. After extensive hearings, floor debate and committee sessions on the matter, the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 enacted the law, as it had previously been, to apply to men only. Several men including one Robert L. Goldberg subsequently challenged the gender distinction as unconstitutional. (The named defendant is Bernard D. Rostker
Bernard D. Rostker
Bernard Daniel Rostker was Director of the United States Selective Service System from 1977 to 1979; Assistant Secretary of the Navy from 1994 to 1998; Under Secretary of the Army from 1998 to 2000; and Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness in 2000-2001...

, Director of the Selective Service System
Selective Service System
The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States government maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Most male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of...

.)

In a 6-to-3 decision, the Supreme Court held that this gender
Gender
Gender is a range of characteristics used to distinguish between males and females, particularly in the cases of men and women and the masculine and feminine attributes assigned to them. Depending on the context, the discriminating characteristics vary from sex to social role to gender identity...

 distinction was not a violation of the equal protection component of the due process clause, and that the Act would stand as passed.

In the majority opinion, Justice William Rehnquist
William Rehnquist
William Hubbs Rehnquist was an American lawyer, jurist, and political figure who served as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States and later as the 16th Chief Justice of the United States...

 wrote "[t]he existence of the combat restrictions clearly indicates the basis for Congress' decision to exempt women from registration. The purpose of registration was to prepare for a draft of combat troops. Since women are excluded from combat, Congress concluded that they would not be needed in the event of a draft, and therefore decided not to register them." Implicit in the obiter dicta of the ruling was to hold valid the statutory
Statute
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or county. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. The word is often used to distinguish law made by legislative bodies from case law, decided by courts, and regulations...

 restrictions on gender discrimination in assigning combat roles.

White, Marshall, and Brennan dissented
Dissenting opinion
A dissenting opinion is an opinion in a legal case written by one or more judges expressing disagreement with the majority opinion of the court which gives rise to its judgment....

. Marshall commented that "The Court today places its imprimatur on one of the most potent remaining public expressions of 'ancient canards about the proper role of women
Gender role
Gender roles refer to the set of social and behavioral norms that are considered to be socially appropriate for individuals of a specific sex in the context of a specific culture, which differ widely between cultures and over time...

'."

See also

  • United States v. Virginia
    United States v. Virginia
    United States v. Virginia, , is a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the Virginia Military Institute's long-standing male-only admission policy in a 7-1 decision...

    (1996)
  • Women in the military
  • Conscription in the United States#Legality

External links

453 U.S. 57 Full text of the opinion courtesy of Findlaw.com.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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