Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Equal Justice for United States Military Personnel Act picks up a new cosponsor

Yesterday Senator Clinton signed on as a co-sponsor of S. 2052, which would allow convicted servicemembers to seek cert regardless of whether CAAF granted or denied their petitions. Here's a link to S. 202's cosponsor page.

(h/t NBM3)


Anonymous said...

What difference will this make? Will it be that PVT Dirtbag can now bring his "improvident plea" claim to SCOTUS? Wow, I'm sure SCOTUS can't wait to get jurisdiction over those gems. Grants galore, right? Horsehockey! I challenge anyone to name three cert-worthy cases in the last twenty years that were denied potential review by SCOTUS b/c of the current statute. Anyone, anyone...???

(Oh, and for the smartguys on this blog who will try to bash, I'll give you a hint to keep you from spilling dumbass all over yourselves...the key to my query is the term "cert-worthy"...please keep that in mind)

Christopher Mathews said...

Wow, anon 0925. Snide and defensive, all in one package.

I'll leave others to engage in the fight you seem to want to pick, if they feel like it.

No Man said...

Judge Mathews has the right course of action here. No bait. Needed. Even if there had been zero cert worthy Mil Jus cases in the last 57 years, the bill still should have been introduced and should be unanimously passed. Why should the government have a distinct advantage in obtaining review of their cases? Why should servicemembers who may have actually done something for their country have less access to the Supreme Court than those that have not? We've aired all this reasoning before so I only comment to say I hope all Senators from both sides of the aisle sign on with Sen. Specter.

John O'Connor said...

I don't associate myself with Anonymous's comments. But No Man, your comment borders on totalitarian. It is the rare issue where I think that anyone who possibly takes a different position from me on a policy matter cannot possibly have a reasonable point of view.

As it relates to EAJA, I'm sort of agnostic. I do think, as I said in the NLJ, that the bill is almost entirely symbolic, as I have my doubts that the Supreme Court will spend much time granting cases that CAAF thought too unimportant to grant review. I also think that EAJA would imposes some costs on the MilJus system in terms of finality and dealing with some petitions that might represent low-grade ore. But I think those costs are likely to be relatively small. Symbolic legislation is most defensible in my view when the countervailing costs are minimal or non-existent, which is why I'm sort ofm agnostic on a bill that I don't think will provide much of a tangible (non-symbolic) benefit.

It probably will pass unanimously or close to it because of the political concerns with being cast as "anti-soldier."

Cloudesley Shovell said...

JO'C--good point about the costs of this legislation. As a practical matter, this gives every appellant a minimum of another 90 days on appellate leave. No appellant can be discharged prior to completion of appellate review, and the time limit for filing at the Supreme Court is 90 days.

A good bankruptcy attorney can keep a client in his house without paying the mortgage for six months without breaking a sweat, and a year or more with some effort. A crafty appellate defense counsel could keep his client on appellate leave for another year or more by keeping appellate review alive even on a loser case. This could result in significant benefits to the client in terms of medical care or other benefits of being on active duty. The flip side of these benefits is the cost to the military of providing those benefits.

To address finality concerns, the legislation could be amended to require some sort of notice of intent to seek cert--absent notice within, say, 14 days of CAAF's decision means that the case is final and binding, and the service could discharge the appellant.

Anonymous said...

Its amazing the snide comments made in this medium by people who have never been at the mercy of the military justice system.Its even more insulting that some of these self decleared esteem mil justice practitioners believe affording the people who serve this great nation equal access to its highest court as(symbolic).

Am sure the appellants really care about how much it costs the government to keep them on appellate leave.How easy it seems for these very people charged with advocating for and protecting the rights of the very people who are prepared to give their lives to protect this great nation TO IMPLY THAT THE RIGHTS ENJOYED BY MOST AMERICANS SHOULD NOT BE EXTENDED TO THE PEOPLE WHO PROTECT US.

THIS is indeed shameful

John O'Connor said...

Anon 1135:

It's funny that you would chastise (I assume) the first anonymous poster as being "snide," and then be just that in your own post.

It appears your second paragraph is directed at me, as I am the one who said that the effect of EAJA would be largely symbolic. First, I don't "self-declare" myself esteemed at much of anything (I'm decent enough at ping pong, but that's about it).

I stand my my obervation that EAJA's effect, if enacted would be largely symbolic in that I would be surprised if, in my lifetime, the Supreme Court granted a MilJus case where CAAF denied review. You seem to concede the point, as your defense of EAJA seems based entirely on principle and not at all on practical effect (which, as I was careful to note, is not necessarily a reason to vite against the bill). And let's not forget that EAJA would not create parity because those with sub-jurisdictional sentences would remain ineligible for direct Supreme Court review. So the principle of parity isn't really served all that well here either.

You seem to miss my larger point that mere symbolic effect does not necessarily mean the bill is a bad idea, because the costs here aren't great either. That's why I am sort of agnostic.

Anonymous said...

Every once in awhile I click on the comments just to see the debate...and I usually regret it. CAAFLOG: while the posts are informative, can you disable the comments?

Anonymous said...

Good idea...there are many ideas I disagree with as well. Silencing discussion is a good way to make them go away. Reminds me of a quote from Henry VI.

Anonymous said...

Let's just silence the Govt Hacks, with a ball gag.

Anonymous said...

I can see you execise tolerance as long as everyone agrees with you.