Rostker v. Goldberg


Upon invasion of Afghanistan in 1980 by the Soviets, President Carter sought to reinstitute the draft.  Upon doing so, however, some members of Congress felt that all citizens (men and women) should be required to register for the draft.  Congress, passed and reinstituted the registration requirement, but did not include the provision requiring female registration.  A variety of men sued on this basis, believing that their due process rights were violated.


Whether the male-only draft requirement violates the due process clause of the constitution.


No, order upheld.  The court stated that there was a legitimate governmental interest in undertaking gender-based discrimination in this case.  The purpose of the draft order was to supply the military with its most advantageous and immediately source of human capital.   The court wrote that including women in the draft (which is traditionally a male only undertaking), would provide administrative inconvenience for the legitimate purposes served by undertaking a draft in the first place.  The court also stated that there was a legitimate government purpose served in keeping the military primarily a male-only enterprise.  They wrote that for functional purposes, co-mingling of the sexes in a military setting would be detrimental to military functioning.

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