The San Diego-based National Coalition For Men on Monday praised a federal appeals court’s action open to a military draft for women.

A shell casing flies as biathlon entrant Patty Monge readies her next shot. She had to use “combat breathing” to steady herself after running. Photo by Chris Stone

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the male-only Selective Service registration requirement.

The case had been dismissed at the district court level on grounds that it was premature, because the military has not yet fully carried out the integration of women into all combat roles.

The 9th Circuit on Friday reversed the lower court decision, holding that the claim is “definite and concrete, not hypothetical or abstract.”

The appellate panel also rejected the Selective Service’s argument that NCFM and plaintiff James Lesmeister lack standing to sue.

The ruling states that the Selective Service “is wrong to argue that the coalition and Lesmeister lack standing because their alleged equality injuries would not be redressed if the burdens they challenge were extended to women.”

The court further pointed out that “the injuries the coalition and Lesmeister allege could be addressed either by extending the burden of registration to women or by striking down the requirement for men.”

The Court of Appeal will now wait a few weeks to see if the Selective Service requests a rehearing. If not, the case will be remanded back to the lower court for further proceedings.

According to the NCFM, the draft does not have to be about combat, as the Selective Service’s own website states that it almost drafted women as nurses during World War II.

— City News Service

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