February 11, 2021

On Wednesday, February 10, a Jenner & Block team filed an amicus brief on behalf of a prominent group of retired generals, admirals, and other flag officers in a US Supreme Court case over the constitutionality of the military draft.

Since 1948, the Military Selective Service Act has authorized the President to require only men – but not women – to register for the draft. The ACLU and co-counsel filed a case before the Supreme Court asking the Court to declare the Act unconstitutional. The case argues that the Act is one of the last examples of overt sex discrimination written into law from a bygone era.

The firm’s brief is filed pro bono on behalf of General Michael Hayden, General Stanley McChrystal, Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, Major General Randy Manner, Major General Gale Pollock, Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, Brigadier General Carlos E. Martinez, Brigadier General Marianne Watson, Rear Admiral John Hutson, and Rear Admiral Harold L. Robinson.

The brief argues that the draft should include both men and women, highlighting the achievements, contributions, and sacrifices women have made in the service of the nation, and recognizing that drafting women alongside men will improve the nation’s military readiness.

“Today, women form an integral part of the US Military, in both combat and noncombat roles,” the brief states. “Requiring both women and men to register for the selective service is a long overdue next step. Indeed, the male-only selective service registration requirement is the last vestige of an American service force that no longer exists.”

Jenner & Block Law Clerk Laurel A. Raymond prepared the brief, with input from Partners Lindsay C. Harrison, Todd C. Toral, and Previn Warren, Associate Noah B. Bokat-Lindell, and Senior Paralegal Cheryl Olson.