Monday, July 28, 2008

Senate Judiciary Committee to consider expansion of cert jurisdiction in military justice cases

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark up S. 2052, the Equal Justice for United States Military Personnel Act. The legislation is sponsored by Senator Feinstein and co-sponsored by Senators Feingold and Specter. The bill would expand the Supreme Court's certiorari jurisdiction to include direct appeals in which CAAF denies review and petitions for extraordinary relief for which CAAF denies relief. This would give service members (and civilians court-martialed in contingency areas) who receive sentences meeting Article 66's jurisdictional threshold access to the Supreme Court comparable to that of every state and federal criminal defendant in the United States.

1 comment:

John O'Connor said...

Under your theory of writ jurisdiction (and, apparently, NMCCA's), wouldn't this bill also open the door to the Supreme Court for sub-jurisdictional special courts-martial and summary court-martial accuseds?

If the bill would allow Supreme Court review of denials of writs, and writ jurisdiction exists for summary courts-martial and sub-jurisdictional special courts-martial because of that daily occurrence (note sarcasm) whereby JAGs certify those cases for CCA review, then this bill would not just open the gates for cases meeting the Article 66 punishment theshold.