selective service (draft cards)

The thread on draft dodgers brought this to mind:

I’ll be turning 18 in a week, and the U.S. government, quick to send out draft cards (sorry, “Selective Service”…gimme a break…), yet not capable of getting tax returns out before the next 2 months rent is due, sent me a form for signing up for the draft several months ago.

Now, they’re quick to tell us that there is no draft. Yet we have to sign up for it, just in case there is one in the future, even though drafts are outlawed, which brings the obvious question: “Then why the fuck do you need me to fill out this form??”

Anyway, for a while, I was contemplating fighting it, on the grounds of unconstitutionality–a violation of the 14th amendment to equal protection of the law, because only males are required to apply.

About a month, ago, I decided it’s not worth court expenses and my time, not to mention risking the $150,000 fine and jail time.

I know I would never win, simply because big brother is stronger than I am.

But, legally, am I correct? Is not this a violation of the 14th Amendment?

I don’t know who first said “everyone’s a critic,” but I think it’s a really stupid saying.

It takes roughly ten years for a case like that to make its way to the Supreme Court–if you’re lucky, some ageing idealist has already tried it.

“Drafts are outlawed”? Since when?

To answer your question, no, it is not a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, most likely. If you want, I can give you a lengthy discourse on the history of Supreme Court cases discussing laws that discriminate on the basis of sex, but to spare everyone a long post they might not want to read, suffice it to say that the Supremes, so far, especially when the military is involved, allow the federal government a lot of leeway in using sex to determine who will or will not be affected by a law.

In about 25 years, it likely WILL be a violation of the clause… stick around and see. :slight_smile:

If you plan on getting any government loans or grants in college, better get registered.

You might try the conscientious objector route, but you’d still have problems with the aforementioned loans & grants.

I registered on my 18th birthday, mainly because I wanted to get a work-study grant for the upcoming semester. But just before the deadline, I get a letter saying I didn’t need to register because I was too young. It seems that whatever bozo read my card though my “1964” looked like “1969”.

Now, my 4’s might look like a 9 at first glance. But there were thousands of fellow “64”'s registering around that time. Also, there was a “9” just to the left that looked different. How much @!#?@! brainpower does it take to figure out that it was a 4 and not a 9!?

Anyways, I didn’t get the grant that semester, and wound up eating Mac & Cheese for 8 months. :frowning:

I used a standard, perfectly legal VA drivers licence for three years in college by failing to complete the loop in the “9.” I was smart enough to never take it to the liquor store, but it bought me all the beer and bar entrance I could handle.

(There were several other adjustments to be made, including green food coloring diluted in water, etc., but the photo I.D. part of the licence was where most folks looked.)

This link should answer all of your questions.

I duly registered for the SSS a few weeks after my 18th birthday. I got my card and left it at that.
Six and half years later, the day that Desert Shield started, I got a letter from the SSS saying that I never registered.
In the interim, I had lost my card.
So, I reregistered, and got a letter back thanking me, but telling me that I didn’t need to register anymore because I was too old.

My advice is: Register and make a photocopy of the card or don’t keep it in your wallet. The record keeping for Selective Service doesn’t seem too great.

Any legal arguments are best made at the time that you are drafted and not at the time of registration. The beauracracy simply won’t listen until there is a need, because the need might never come up.

As an interesting side story to illustrate how swift these guys are, I joined the Navy before I turned 18 and was on active duty for 4 years when the government sent me mail (Addressed to me at my military assignment- a Naval war ship) that said that I was in big trouble for failing to register with Selective Service.