Supreme Court won’t hear male-only draft discrimination case

The Supreme Court has declined to hear a case that could have decided whether it’s sex discrimination for the government to require only men to register for the draft when they turn 18.

On Monday, the court announced it would decline to hear the case brought by an organization called the National Coalition of Men.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Brett Kavanaugh, according to CNN, wrote that Congress may take up the issue in the short term.

“At least for now,” Sotomayor wrote, “the court’s longstanding deference to Congress on matters of national defense and military affairs cautions against granting review while Congress actively weighs the issue.”

Ria Tabacco Mar, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project, who was urging the court to take up the case, says requiring men to register imposes a “serious burden on men that’s not being imposed on women.”

Men who do not register can lose eligibility for student loans and civil service jobs, and failing to register is also a felony punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in prison. But Tabacco Mar says the male-only requirement does more than that.

“It’s also sending a tremendously harmful message that women are less fit than men to serve their country in this particular way and conversely that men are less fit than women to stay home as caregivers in the event of an armed conflict. We think those stereotypes demean both men and women,” she said.

A group of retired senior military officers and the National Organization for Women Foundation were among the others urging the court to take the case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.