Planned bill would keep women out of draft

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Energy: Colonial Pipeline says it has restored full service | Biden urges people not to panic about gasoline shortages | EPA rescinds Trump-era cost-benefit rule Senate panel advances Biden's deputy Interior pick Hillicon Valley: Global cybersecurity leaders say they feel unprepared for attack | Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan | Senate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech MORE (R-Utah) said Thursday he plans to introduce legislation that would keep women from registering for the draft unless Congress changes the law.


“We simply can’t trust this president or the courts to honor the law and protect our daughters,” Lee said in a written statement to The Hill. “We need new legislation making clear that if the United States is going to change this policy, Congress must be the one to do it.”

In 1981, the Supreme Court ruled that women did not have to register for the draft since combat jobs were closed to them.

But two lawsuits against the Selective Service System, as the draft is officially called, are currently working their way through the court system. The lawsuits allege the draft is discriminatory since it excludes women.

Since Defense Secretary Ashton Carter ordered that all combat jobs be open to women, lawmakers and military officials have been discussing how that might affect draft registration.

Two top generals said last week they think Carter’s order means women should have to register for the draft.

A pair of House Republicans then introduced a bill to require women to register for the draft. Both oppose opening combat jobs to women and said they introduced the bill to force Congress to have a discussion on the ramifications of women in combat.

Also Thursday, a bipartisan group of four lawmakers introduced legislation that would abolish the draft altogether.

A spokesman for Lee said he plans to introduce his bill on the draft the week of Feb. 22.