Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Former Selective Service director admits draft registration has failed

Bernard Rostker, who was Director of the Selective Service System (SSS) from 1979-1981 durung the attempt to resume registration of all young men in the U.S. for possible military conscription, has publicly admitted what I’ve been saying for decades: failure by young men to notify the SSS of address changes renders the list of registrants so incomplete and inaccurate that it probably couldn’t be used as the basis foir a draft that would stand up to legal challenges to its fairness.

Here’s the key portion of Rostker’s recent podcast interview with Lillian Cunningham of the Washington Post:

This episode of The Washington Post’s “Constitutional” podcast examines the history and evolution of the draft in America with … Bernard Rostker, former director of the Selective Service and a senior fellow at the RAND Corporation….

CUNNINGHAM: So this is where we are today. America continues to maintain a military registration system. Every young man in the United States between ages 18 and 26 is required to be registered. But if a draft were ever called again, using that list as a basis for the draft would face major constitutional hurdles.

First, because the sex-discrimination argument would now need to be revisited. And also because, the list of registered men’s names is problematic.

ROSTKER: The list that they have I doubt could pass the legal definition of a complete and objective list, because it is structurally flawed and Selective Service knows it.

CUNNINGHAM: Many young men don’t ever actively register for the draft themselves. Their states automatically send their information to the Selective Service when they get a driver’s license. But if they move apartments — or across the country — the information doesn’t necessarily get updated. And what about the men without driver’s licenses? Or the ones who live in states that don’t automatically register them?

ROSTKER: It’s a list that I’m sure the courts would throw out immediately because it’s not accurate.

…CUNNINGHAM: Two bills were introduced in Congress last year that would end registration all together, one was proposed in the House and one in the Senate. The Senate bill, proposed by Senator Rand Paul, was called the Muhammad Ali Voluntary Service Act.

I asked Bernie if he thought these might ever gain enough traction to go through.

ROSTKER: Politicians don’t want to be accused of not being soft on defense by not having a standby Selective Service system that’s adequate. But that has now survived for decades, and for the life of me I cannot see how it adds any anything to our defense effort.

CUNNINGHAM: This from a man who ran the program.

Link | Posted by Edward on Wednesday, 20 December 2017, 10:47 (10:47 AM)
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