Judge rules all-male military draft is unconstitutional

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  • Women may also need to register for Selective Service soon. A federal judge ruled that an all-male military draft was unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Gray Miller said men and women are now equally capable of fighting. The original lawsuit was brought by the National Coalition for Men. (USA Today)
  • April 4 was chosen as the day the U.S. Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments regarding President Trump executive orders on official time and collective bargaining. The administration will appeal an August 2018 decision from a federal district judge which said the president’s EOs on official time and collective bargaining contradicted the intent of the Federal Labor-Management Relations statute. (Federal News Network)
  • New court filings explained why the Defense Department asked a federal court to put a lawsuit challenging its JEDI Cloud contract on hold. Documents the government filed Friday evening said DoD’s contracting officer for JEDI has reopened her conflict of interest investigation. It centers on a specific employee of Amazon Web Services, Deap Ubhi. Oracle, the suit’s plaintiff, claimed Uhbi helped shape the multi-billion dollar cloud procurement while he worked for the Defense Digital Service. DoD said the new investigation was prompted by information it hadn’t been aware of until Feb. 12. Regardless of the investigation’s outcome, the process will delay the contract award by at least three more months, assuming JEDI survives the current court challenge. (Federal News Network)
  • A federal district judge will hear the government’s motion to dismiss the National Treasury Employees Union’s lawsuit against the Trump administration for its handling of the recent government shutdown sometime in May. The NTEU lawsuit challenges the legality of recalling certain federal employees back to work without pay, the administration’s definition of an excepted employee and the constitutionality of the Antideficiency Act in general. Judge Richard Leon acknowledged the case could move forward if he ultimately denies the motion to dismiss. Leon said it has the potential for widespread impact across the country. Lawyers from the Justice Department want to dismiss the case, especially now that the government shutdown is over and the threat of another one won’t come until Oct. 1. But NTEU said it’s raised constitutional arguments that should be considered. (Federal News Network)
  • About 39 percent of federal employees said they were unprepared or very unprepared for the last government shutdown. A recent survey from Clever Real Estate said federal employees took loans, borrowed money and found other work during the 35-day shutdown. Around 10 percent of respondents said they changed their retirement plans because of the shutdown. (Federal News Network)
  • The Trump administration released its first National Action Plan for Open Government — but the U.S. government’s fourth — more than a year after the original deadline set by the international Open Government Partnership.  The plan refers back to goals in the recently passed OPEN Government Data Act, which requires agencies to appoint chief data officers, and the President’s Management Agenda. Since 2011, the U.S. has submitted new national action plans every other month.
  • There is light at the end of the modernization tunnel for one of the worst websites in government. The General Services Administration said FedBizOpps.gov will move to a new, modernized platform by the end of the 2019 calendar year. It will be the third legacy database to move onto the beta SAM.gov portal. GSA expects the wage determinations database to migrate later this year as well. At the same time, GSA announced that IBM would continue to provide maintenance and migration support for the SAM.gov effort. The agency awarded IBM a sole source contact worth $24 million over the next four years. (FedBizOpps)
  • The Defense Department needs to determine the proper size and readiness of its operational medical and dental forces. A recent Government Accountability Office report found each military department uses different assumptions in estimating the personnel it needs, making it harder for DoD to know whether it has the right force size it needs for missions. GAO recommended establishing joint planning assumptions and methodology for assessing medical and dental personnel requirements. (Government Accountability Office)
  • The Navy made a small but significant move to signal adversaries and rouse its sailors. Starting June 4, Navy ships will fly the union jack, a flag they haven’t displayed since 2002, when it was replaced by the tri-color don’t-tread-on-me flag. But with return of the great powers competition, chief of staff Admiral John Richardson wants to, “recommit to the core attitudes that made the Navy successful at Midway.” The current version has 50 stars on a blue background. The Union Jack first flew in 1777. (Navy)
  • DoD is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to digital manufacturing. The Pentagon will give $10 million to the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, with an option of $20 million more over the next five years. The institute invests in applied research projects for things like 3D modelling and making machines more productive. (Department of Defense)
  • A former Department of Homeland Security secretary said the military needs to do a better job getting rid of people who harbor extremist views which could turn violent. Jeh Johnson told NBC’s Meet the Press, it is the job of military leaders to help with countering those views. Last week, a Coast Guard lieutenant was arrested on domestic terror charges. (NBC News)

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