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Latest updates (background and FAQs; updates from my blog)

Links about the Draft, Draft Registration, and Draft Resistance

Don't Register for War.

Other links and resources about the draft, draft registration, and draft resistance:

  1. Draft registration and the possibility of a general draft
  2. Women, the draft, and draft registration
  3. The medical draft ("Health Care Personnel Delivery System")
  4. Compulsory national service
  5. Financial aid for nonregistrants
  6. Background on "Selective Service", draft registration, and draft resistance since 1980
  7. Statistics on draft registration, resistance, compliance, and enforcement since 1980
  8. Resistance within the military and by veterans and military families
  9. USA war resisters in Canada and other countries
  10. Resistance to military recruiting
  11. Outsourcing and privatizing war to mercenaries and contractors
  12. Other draft resistance and anti-draft organizations, Web sites, and events
  13. U.S. Supreme Court decisions on draft registration since 1980
  14. Other pending lawsuits related to draft registration
  15. Proposals for state and Federal legislation related to draft registration
  16. Petitions to Congress and the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service related to draft registration
  • Resistance within the military and by veterans and military families

  • USA war resisters in Canada and other countries

  • Resistance to military recruiting

  • Outsourcing and privatizing war to mercenaries and contractors

  • Other draft resistance and anti-draft organizations, Web sites, and events

    Mobilization Against the Draft
    [Front ranks of the West Coast mobilization against draft registration on Market St. in San Francisco, 22 March 1980. Photo by Chris Booth for Resistance News.]

    • War Resisters League
      ("The War Resisters League affirms that all war is a crime against humanity.")
    • War Resisters' International
      ("War Resisters' International exists to promote nonviolent action against the causes of war, and to support and connect people around the world who refuse to take part in war or the preparation of war.")
      ("No recruitment. No draft. Support GI resisters. An army of None!")
    • National Lawyers Guild - Military Law Task Force
      ("The MLTF will use every resource available to us to defend the rights of those who refuse to participate in war.")
    • Friends Committee on National Legislation
      ("FCNL advocates for an end to compulsory registration for Selective Service, for an end to all civil and criminal sanctions (such as denying federal education grants or drivers licenses to those who do not register for the draft), and for the repeal of the Selective Service Act.")
    • Center on Conscience and War
      ("The draft has met with serious resistance from communities of faith and people of conscience throughout its history. The Center on Conscience & War (CCW) was founded in 1940 to protect the rights of Conscientious Objectors.... The time is also ripe to challenge the Selective Service registration itself.")
    • National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC)
      (working to resist the conscription of our tax money for war)
    • National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY)
      ("Draft registration is one of the ways that all young men -- and possibly soon young women as well -- have to interact with the military and think about their relationship to military 'service'.")
  • U.S. Supreme Court decisions on draft registration since 1980

    • Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981)
      (upholding the Constitutionality of requiring men but not women to register for the draft. For more about the legislative and legal -- although not the activist -- context to this case, see the detailed account including interviews with Goldberg and his attorneys by Linda K. Kerber in No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship, Hill and Wang, 1998, pp. 261-302, and Bernard Rostker, I Want You: The Evolution of the All-Volunteer Force, RAND Corp., 2006 (free download as e-book, but the printed edition includes a supplemental DVD with extensive source material incluidng files from the Reagan Administration's "Military Manpower Task Force").
    • Selective Service v. Minnesota Public Internet Research Group (MPIRG), 468 U.S. 841 (1984)
      (upholding the Constitutionality of the first of the Federal "Solomon Amendment" laws, which requires applicants for Federal student aid to certify that they have complied with draft registration, either by having registered or by not being required to register)
    • Wayte v. United States, 470 U.S. 598 (1985)
      (upholding the policies and procedures which the Supreme Court thought the government had used to select the "most vocal" nonregistrants for prosecution, after the government refused to comply with discovery orders by the trial court to produce documents and witnesses related to the selection of nonregistrants for prosecution. Don't rely on this decision as an accurate statement of the actual prosecution practices. See the dissent for why the factual record was incomplete, and the case was decided prematurely and on the wrong issues.)
    • Elgin et al. v. U.S. Treasury et al., 567 U.S. 1 (2012)
      (Complaint CA No. 07-12391-DPW, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, decided 26 January 2009; reversed 11 March 2010 on reconsideration by the District Court; reversed and remanded 8 April 2011 by the First Circuit Court of Appeals; Circuit Court decision affirmed by the Supreme Court, 11 June 2012. The District Court initially found that the "Solomon Amendment" is an unconstitutional "bill of attainder" as applied to men who are denied Federal jobs for life because they didn't register for the draft, but who are now age 26 or over and thus too old to be allowed to register. On reconsideration, the District Court reversed itself and dismissed the complaint "without prejudice", and that dismissal was upheld by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. The dismissal was on purely jurisdictional and procedure grounds, and neither the Court of Appeals nor the Supreme Court reached the constitutionality of the law. Both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court (and the government, in its arguments to the Supreme Court) explicitly left the plaintiffs free to pursue administrative remedies and, eventually, if those are denied, a renewed Circuit Court appeal through a different procedural mechanism.)
  • Other lawsuits related to draft registration

    • National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System
      (Case 19-20272, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. 5th Circuit PACER docket; RECAP mirror of 5th Circuit PACER docket. Previously civil case 4:16-cv-03362, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, decided 22 February 2019. District Court PACER docket, RECAP mirror of District Court docket. Lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of requiring men but not women to register for the draft. Originally filed 4 April 2013, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (complaint); dismissed by the District Court 29 July 2013 as not "ripe" for decision; reversed and remanded by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 19 February 2016. On 9 November 2016, a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles ruled that this case had been filed in the wrong place, and ordered it transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston, where the plaintiff lives. On 6 April 2018, the U.S. District Court judge in Houston denied the government's motion to dismiss the case. On 22 February 2019, the District Court issued a declaratory judgement that the current male-only registration requirement is unconstitutional. Notice of appeal by the government filed 22 April 2019. Government's opening brief filed 14 August 2019, requesting oral argument. The Eagle Forum, an anti-feminist pro-military organization which was founded by Phyllis Schlafly and which opposed both the Equal Rights Amendment and the 1980 proposal to include women in draft registration, has filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting continued registration of men for the draft, opposing requiring women to register, and asking the Court of Appeals to overturn the District Court decision. The plaintiffs/appellees (the National Coalition for Men) filed their brief in the appeal on 3 October 2019. On 18 October 2019, a coalition of civil liberties and womens-rights organizations filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the Court of Appeals should uphold the District Court finding that that the current Military Selective Service Act is unconstitutional because it discriminates between men and women without an adequate basis. The government's brief in reply to the plaintiffs and the amici was filed 24 October 2019. Oral arguments on the appeal were heard by a 3-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on 3 March 2020. A decision could be announced at any time. More about the District Court ruling and what it does and doesn't mean; more about the Cicruit Court appeal and links to pleadings)
    • Kyle-LaBell v. Selective Service System
      (filed 3 July 2015, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey; lawsuit brought on behalf of Elizabeth Kyle-LaBell, who tried to register when she turned 18 in 2015 but was turned away because she is female. On 29 March 2018 and again on 4 March 2019 the District Court denied requests by the govenment to dismiss or delay a ruling in the case. Ms.Kyle-LaBell has requested a declaratory judgement -- like the one already issued in NCFM v. SSS, above -- that the current male-only draft registration requirement is unconstitutional. She also seeks "(i) to enjoin Defendants from registering only males; or (ii) to require that females register with the SSS; or (iii) to require that registration be voluntary for both sexes." There has been no ruling yet on these requests, but the second of these options for injunctive relief, requiring women to register, is clearly beyond the authority of any court. Only Congress can create new obligations or criminal penalties for noncompliance with them.)
    • Jacobrown v. Selective Service System (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, filed 29 July 2009; dismissed without prejudice (alternate site for opinion) with leave to re-file an amended complaint, 22 February 2011)
      (lawsuit brought under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on behalf of nonregistrant Toby Jacobrown (Web site, newer blog, older blog) to require the SSS to permit registrants to indicate when they register that if drafted they intend to seek classification and exemption from military service as conscientious objectors, and to require the SSS to include those statements of intent to seek CO status in registration records)
  • Proposals for state and Federal legislation related to draft registration

  • Petitions to Congress and the National Commission on Military Service (they were started independently, and there's no reason not to sign more than one of them):

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