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Justifications for excluding women from the Military selective service act (MSSA).

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Introduction

Justifications for Excluding Women from the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA) One of the main defenses for allowing Selective Service registration to exclude females is for lack for a better explanation, because U.S. Congress drafted the statute to exclude women. Article I, section 8 of the Constitution commits exclusively to the Congress the powers to raise and support armies, provide and maintain a Navy. Moreover, Congress is granted to authority to make rules for Government and regulation of the land and naval forces. Pursuant to these powers it lies within the discretion of the Congress to determine the occasions for expansion of our Armed Forces, and the means best suited to such expansion should it prove necessary. Such power is almost absolute because for centuries, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken the position that the constitutional power of Congress to raise and support armies and to make all laws necessary and proper to that end is broad and sweeping. In the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA), Congress established procedures for maintaining "adequate armed strength to insure the security of [the] Nation" and for responding to war or other national emergency. Although the MSSA provides separately for registration and for conscription (and attendant classification), the processes are interlocked. Thus, Section 453 empowers the President to require by proclamation the registration of "every male citizen" and male resident alien "between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six," and Section 454(a) renders individuals "required to register liable for training and service in the Armed Forces" upon the issuance of an induction notice. ...read more.

Middle

However, even with the so-called "evil woman," there is a tendency to try to explain her crime in such a way as to make it more palatable to society. Consequently, these ancient concepts play a large role as to why women are granted favorable treatment in some states with regards to sentencing. Such sentiment is blatantly wrong and discriminatory. It is important to be wary of a society that permits "chivalry and paternalism" to color the perceptions of those who make and enforce the law. Those perceptions profoundly affect behavior of those in power and the behavior of those paternalized in a manner that is inconsistent with the operation of a democratic state. A basic denial of self-determination is what is taking place. Supporters of special treatment for women justify their position on the cultural and biological differences between men and women and advocate the need for special protection of women's interests based on those differences. However, this argument fails to consider that although men and women differ in many important respects (especially with respect to reproduction), special treatment of women entails significant risks, because the laws meant to protect women have oppressed them. Experience with protective-labor legislation, preferential-welfare statutes, child-custody presumptions, and maternity policies makes clear that "benign discrimination' is a mixed blessing. Criminal punishment is distinctive in the law because of its condemnatory character. Unlike other legal sanctions (e.g., for breach of contract), criminal sentencing imparts blame on the offender. The extent of reprobation is represented, in part, by the severity of the punishment imposed. ...read more.

Conclusion

These norms call for a system where equality works both ways and males and females should be subject to equal standards. The exclusion of women from the MSSA and the female preference sentencing states both violate the principles of equality of rights and respect for human dignity. Those statutes are an obstacle to the participation of women, on equal terms with men, in the political, social, economic, and cultural life of their countries. Furthermore, although both were done to help women, in actuality in the long run both hampers the growth of the prosperity of this society and the family and makes more difficult the full development of the potentialities of women in the service of their countries and of humanity. Notwithstanding, the same ideas are found within the criminal justice system. Although the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, mandates that men and women are to be treated equally in all stages of procedures in courts and tribunals, they are clearly not treated in such a fashion. Probably most evident is that female offenders tend to benefit at sentencing from what many presume to be a benign form of reverse discrimination. Overall, although the principle of non-discrimination is a widely accepted norm, some aspects of it have proved easier to implement than others. The elimination of discrimination on the ground of sex still remains far from being attained despite gains made generally in the field of human rights. There is no sufficient legal distinction between the draft-related statutes and the sentencing statutes to justify the latter set even if the former were abolished. AGN 172 - WR Final Examination Page 5 of 11 ...read more.

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