Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday shopping alert

Today I stumbled across this rather recent and very timely publication:

Craig Peter Cummings, Is Anyone Listening? An Analysis of Public Opinion of the Supreme Court, Diversity in the Courts of Appeals, and Confirmations to the Military's Highest Court (2006).

For the relatively high price of $69.99, you can own this 139-page paperback book -- but, hey, shipping is free!

Here's an excerpt from the book description: "[C]onfirmations to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces are strikingly void of partisan conflict, which is completely opposite to confirmations for judges nominated to the regional Courts of Appeals, and suggests that there may be little or no concern about the judges who preside over the armed forces."

Of course, the fact that CAAF nominees go through a different committee than nominees for Article III courts is probably a significant explanatory factor.

Cummings wrote the book as his dissertation for a political science Ph.D. from Columbia. See Has anyone heard of him?

The first 24 pages of the dissertation are available at Unfortunately, the part about confirmation of CAAF judges starts on page 79.

Cummings was recently on the West Point Department of Social Sciences faculty as an Army major, but has since rotated out. See Does anyone know him? (He's not a lawyer.)

--Dwight Sullivan


Marcus Fulton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marcus Fulton said...

Seventy dollars to be told almost no one cares about our "quiet cul-de-sac in the law?" I give you that for free except when you’re buying the beer.

Maybe it shouldn’t be that surprising. There aren’t too many well-heeled oxen getting gored when CAAF has a bad day. Nobody’s flag gets burned; no school prayers omitted; no endangered spotted woodrats get their dens bulldozed; no pro golfers have to get out of their carts. You know, the important stuff.

Not that criminal law and procedure questions of the sort CAAF deals with aren’t capable of generating high-level interest out there in the rest of lawyerdom. If Rodriguez-Rivera had been held in Guantanamo instead of Leavenworth, there might have been some outcry this term when he was convicted on hearsay and denied appellate review until he served a 12-year sentence to the minimum release date. He might even have had access to some of the high-powered firms that seem to have found a certain selective sexiness in combatants being held without due process. It’s too bad for Rodriguez-Rivera that he was our combatant, not the enemy’s. He was stuck with me at least through CCA. I’m pretty sure no one was listening.

Of course I’m not sure that added attention would necessarily improve our system. Seems like most of our “improvements” aren’t really helpful. I still haven’t figured out to do with unsuccessfully challenged members. And has anyone read the new Article 120 that goes into effect next fiscal year? Anyone that makes it all the way through that monstrosity will be ready for a couple more decades of benign neglect.

Dwight Sullivan said...

"There aren’t too many well-heeled oxen getting gored when CAAF has a bad day."

Marcus, have you heard of Senator Lindsey Graham?

Marcus Fulton said...

Yeah, but that was CAAF having good day.