Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The JAG Corps strikes back

Last year, Commander Glenn Sulmasy of the Coast Guard Academy's faculty and Professor John Yoo of Boalt Hall's faculty published a provocative article called Challenges to Civilian Control of the Military: A Rational Choice Approach to the War on Terror, 54 UCLA L. Rev. 1815 (2007). The article basically argued that the balance of power between judge advocates and civilian U.S. government officials had gotten out of whack and that the civilian officials need to put the judge advocates back in their subordinate place (I'm paraphrasing).

The UCLA Law Review, which published the Sulmasy & Yoo piece, has now published a rebuttal written by Lieutenant Colonel Michael L. Kramer, JA, U.S. Army, and Professor Michael N. Scmitt of the Naval War College's faculty: Lawyers on Horseback? Thoughts on Judge Advocates and Civil-Military Relations, 55 UCLA L. Rev. 1407 (2008). Here's a link. They conclude: "Ultimately, Commander Sulmasy and Professors Yoo's arguments must be turned on their heads. Judge advocates do not corrupt civilian control over the military, they inform it. Uniformed lawyers act as honest interlocutors in the process."


Anonymous said...

Given Professor Yoo's views on the genital mutilation of children, I'm mildly surprised anyone takes him seriously.

John O'Connor said...

Yep, that's one heck of a paraphase, CAAFlog. I didn't agee with everything in the Yoo law review article, but I think in some ways this most recent article takes some of its broader poins and turns them into a caricature.

Anonymous said...

Uniformed Judge Advocates should take the lead on legal issues.