US Army Chief of Staff General George Casey told the US Senate last week that the Pentagon will reassess the ban on women in the Army's infantry. He said, "I believe that it's time that we take a look at what women are actually doing in Iraq and Afghanistan and look at our policies," reported CNN.
The United States currently restricts women from direct combat roles in infantry positions or in the Special Forces. A 1994 Department of Defense directive banned women from units "whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground," reported CNN. Despite official military policy, women's participation in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has increasingly included direct combat. In contemporary warfare, there are no front lines.
John Nagl, an Iraq veteran and retired lieutenant colonel, told Agence France Presse "my best combat interrogator was a woman soldier, my best tank mechanic was a woman soldier." Army Sergeant Jennifer Hunt, who earned a purple heart in Iraq, told CNN "I do feel like I was in combat...I was engaged by the enemy when they exploded an IUD near my Humvee. You can't hit the pause button and say 'You know, I'm not supposed to be here, you know, don't shoot at me.'"
US Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced last week that the United States Navy plans to allow women on submarines for the first time. The policy will go into effect as early as mid-April unless Congress objects during a 30 day waiting period.
Media Resources: CNN 2/26/10; Agence France Presse 2/28/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 8/17/09, 2/24/10
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .