Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bill introduced to expand SCOTUS jurisdiction over military justice cases

House Bill 569 of the 111th Congress, sponsored by Representative Susan Davis (D-Cal.), would "amend titles 28 and 10, United States Code, to allow for certiorari review of certain cases denied relief or review by the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces." Unfortunately the bill's text isn't yet available. Once the GPO catches up with the onslaught of early bills, it should appear here. h/t nbm3

The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. It has eight co-sponsors, including HASC Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.).

During the last Congress, the full House of Representatives, by a two-thirds majority, suspended the rules to take up directly on the House floor Rep. Davis's Equal Justice for Our Military Act, which would have expanded the Supremes' cert jurisdiction to include Article 66 appeals where CAAF denies review and extraordinary relief rulings in which CAAF doesn't grant relief. The bill was passed by the full House on 27 September 2008. On the Senate side, the Judiciary Committee favorably reported an identical-in-all-but-name bill, but the bill died without full Senate action when Congress adjourned sine die.

As we noted here, during the last Congress then-DOD General Counsel William J. Haynes II opposed the legislation by a letter dated 6 February 2006. It will be interesting to see what position incoming DOD General Counsel Jeh Johnson takes on this year's version of the legislation.

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