Participation in Government Discussion Question 10
According to Section 3(a) of the Military Selective Service Act, “. . . it shall be the duty of every male citizen of the United States, and every other male person residing in the United States, who . . . is between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, to present himself for and submit to registration. . .”
Students should review the constitutional history of military service in American history, including the military and political importance of a militia in colonial times, the origins and development of the Second Amendment, the use of conscription and a military draft, the wartime occurrences of civil disobedience and conscientious objection, and the struggle against racial and gender discrimination in the armed services. Students should understand the democratic reasons for requiring all males to register, the differences between mandatory registration and a mandatory draft, the differences between voluntary service and mandatory service. Students should be familiar with the case Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981) in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the male-only requirement military registration, but did not prohibit voluntary registration by women.
Discussion Question #10 - Why are males ages 18 to 26 expected to register with Selective Service?