Military Selective Service Act

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Military Selective Service Act
Great Seal of the United States
Other short titles
  • Elston Act
  • Selective Service Act of 1948
Long titleAn Act to provide for the common defense by increasing the strength of the armed forces of the United States, including the reserve components thereof, and for other purposes.
Enacted bythe 80th United States Congress
EffectiveJune 24, 1948
Public law80-759
Statutes at Large62 Stat. 604, Chapter 625
Titles amended50 U.S.C.: War and National Defense
U.S.C. sections created50 U.S.C. Appendix §§ 451-473
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 2655 by Robert A. Taft (ROH), Charles Elston (ROH)
  • Passed the Senate on June 9, 1948 (78-10)
  • Passed the House on June 15, 1948 (329-61, in lieu of H.R. 6401)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee on June 19, 1948; agreed to by the House on June 19, 1948 (259-136) and by the on  
  • Signed into law by President Harry Truman on June 24, 1948

The Selective Service Act of 1948, also known as the Elston Act, was a major revision of the Articles of War of the United States enacted June 24, 1948 that established the current implementation of the Selective Service System. On February 22, 2019, U.S. District Court in Southern Texas Judge Gray Miller ruled in National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System that exempting females from the male-only draft was unconstitutional.[1]


The previous iteration of the Selective Service System was established by the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. After two extensions, the Selective Training and Service Act was allowed to expire on March 31, 1947. In 1948, it was replaced by a new and distinct Selective Service System established by this Act. The Selective Service Act of 1948 was originally intended to remain in effect for two years (i.e., until June 24, 1950), but was extended multiple times, usually immediately before its two-year period of effectiveness was due to expire.

The act has had amendments, extensions, and changes of name since 1948, including:


  1. ^ Somin|Feb. 24, Ilya; Pm, 2019 4:15 (2019-02-24). "Federal Court Rules Male-Only Draft Registration Is Unconstitutional - Volokh Conspiracy". Retrieved 2019-03-20.

See also[edit]