I saw at the following wiki page, that the supreme court has decided not to hear a constitutional matter while admitting there is a constitutional issue in need of addressing.

Saying the following...

The Supreme Court declined to review the case in June 2021.[18] In a opinion on supporting the denial, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Brett Kavanaugh, stated that while there was a Constitutional argument about discrimination on sex on the current draft, they agreed to decline because Congress was actively evaluating removing the male-only requirement of the draft through the 2016 Commission, and that "the Court's longstanding deference to Congress on matters of national defense and military affairs cautions against granting review while Congress actively weighs the issue".[19]

Is this a regular occurrence, that the supreme court will not hear cases on the constitutionality of a law, while the law is under review, even when there is a clear constitutional decision to be made, or is this as incredible an occurrence as I suspect it is?

Somehow the Supreme Court admitting a case is a constitutional matter and declining to review at the same time seems incredible to me

  • 4
    Although the reasoning in this case may require more research, "admitting a case is a constitutional matter and declining to review" is normal. Appeal to SCOTUS is not a matter of right and the Court chooses the cases it hears for a variety of reasons.
    – xngtng
    Jul 16, 2021 at 12:29

1 Answer 1


So it's not that SCOTUS is declining to review the matter on Constitutional Grounds but that it's declining to rule because 1.) It's a military matter 2.) It's under review by congress.

SCOTUS is basically saying that, of the three branches, they are the least equipped to deal with military policy and when a better equipped branch is reviewing the matter. SCOTUS doesn't want to dictate to Congress how to change the rules when Congress is in the process of changing the rules itself... but they can say "Hey, we got our eyes on this as a constitutional matter so keep that in mind when you decide on what you're gonna do about this.

When Congress makes a decision on this particular law (either change it or keep it), SCOTUS may take a look, but that doesn't mean they'll rule against it, as Congress and the Military can present an argument that it might be necessary for military defense reasons.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .