ROSTKER v. GOLDBERG

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
80-251
Appellee 
Goldberg
Appellant 
Rostker
Opinion 
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the appellant)
(Argued the cause for the appellees)
Tags
Term:
Location: Congress
Facts of the Case 

After the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in early 1980, President Jimmy Carter reactivated the draft registration process. Congress agreed with Carter's decision, but did not enact his recommendation that the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA) be amended to include the registration of females. A number of men challenged the constitutionality of the MSSA, and the challenge was sustained by a district court.

Question 

Did the MSSA's gender distinctions violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 6 votes for Rostker, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Selective Service, Military Selective Service, or Universal Military Service and Training Acts

In a 6-to-3 decision, the Court held that Congress's decision to exempt women from registration "was not the 'accidental by-product of a traditional way of thinking about females'" and did not violate the Due Process Clause. The Court found that men and women, because of combat restrictions on women, were not "similarly situated" for the purposes of draft registration. The Court also upheld Congress's judgment that the administrative and military problems that would be created by drafting women for noncombat roles were sufficient to justify the Military Selective Service Act.

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ROSTKER v. GOLDBERG. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 10 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1980/1980_80_251>.
ROSTKER v. GOLDBERG, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1980/1980_80_251 (last visited September 10, 2014).
"ROSTKER v. GOLDBERG," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 10, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1980/1980_80_251.