Tell the California Senate:
Vote NO on SB1081 – Military Draft Registration

Sign the Petition

A bill currently in California’s legislature would automatically register draft-age men (18 – 26) with the Selective Service System (SSS) whenever they register for a driver’s license, identification card, or driver’s license renewal. The SSS continues to prepare for a resumption of the military draft that was ended over 50 years ago. The CA Senate Transportation Committee will hold the first hearings on SB1081 on April 9. This petition will be sent to all members of the Transportation Committee, including local CA Senators David Cortese (D-San Jose), who chairs the Committee, and Committee member Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park).

Action # 1: Sign the petition to the Senate Transportation Committee. We will deliver signatures to the Committee before they hold hearings on SB1081.

Action # 2: Write a letter directly to State Senator Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park) if you live in his district. Otherwise, write a letter to State Senator David Cortese (D-San Jose) who chairs the Committee. See some additional talking points below to help compose your letter.

Additional Talking Points for Letters: There are many reasons to oppose SB1081. For the sake of brevity, our petition doesn’t cover them all. We are grateful to Edward Hasbrouck of Resistance News for a detailed review of SB1081. His main talking points are recapped below. Please be sure to read his full analysis to get the whole picture.

1. Draft registration is a failure. Linking it to California driver’s licenses won’t salvage it. A summary of issues identified by the Selective Service System (SSS) in a 2018 induction exercise predicted that, “Almost 50% of inductees WILL NOT receive Reporting Orders…. Results will be massive Undeliverable/Returned to Sender.”

2. The negative consequences of nonregistration have been exaggerated and don’t justify this bill. Congress repealed the requirement to register with the SSS for Federal student aid in 2020. California repealed the requirement to register with the SSS for state Cal Grants for higher education in 2021. Legislation has been proposed in Congress to end registration and abolish the SSS.

3. California should not be using state resources to enforce the Military Selective Service Act. Federal laws should be enforced by the Federal government, at Federal expense. If the Federal government chooses not to enforce the provisions of Federal criminal laws, California should not try to take over enforcement of those Federal laws.

4. Extrajudicial state sanctions for nonregistration with the SSS deny due process and other rights.

5. The “opt-out” provision in SB-1081 is deceptive and entrapment. Opting out of registration with the SSS would require signing a written admission of notice of the registration requirement. This would amount to a written confession of a Federal crime.

6. Selective Service registration is a bad policy choice. Draft registration is not needed. There’s no realistic scenario for a war the U.S. should be preparing to fight, but for which there wouldn’t be enough volunteers.

7. Only males (as assigned at birth) are currently required to register with the SSS. This is discriminatory. California should not use state resources in support of a program that is explicitly anti-trans and that explicitly discriminates on the basis of gender.

Additional Resources:
National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force statement on SB1081
American Friends Service Committee statement in opposition to SB1081

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