Thursday, September 04, 2008

New AFCCA published opinion

A recurring issue in Air Force appellate litigation is whether the SJAR must advise the CA of an accused's request to participate in the Return-to-Duty Program. In a decision issued yesterday, AFCCA basically ruled (and I'm paraphrasing here): No, and we're publishing this opinion so you'll stop asking. United States v. Taylor, __ M.J. ___, No. ACM 37012 (A.F. Ct. Crim. App. Sept. 3, 2008). Here's a link. Judge Jackson wrote for a unanimous panel.

The opinion referred to three previous AFCCA unpublished opinions reaching the same result, but noted that they carry "no precedential weight." Id., slip op. at 3. AFCCA didn't tell us how it feels about the precedential weight of unpublished Delaware Court of Chancery opinions or Seinfeld episodes. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, see here.)

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