Wednesday, July 08, 2009

CAAF to hear oral argument on new Article 120's constitutionality on 21 September

Today's CAAF daily journal update included an order dealing with the timing of CAAF's review of a recent NMCCA decision rejecting a challenge to the new Article 120's constitutionality.

For purposes of this post, I'm assuming that when the order refers to "Appellee," it's referring to the government. See C.A.A.F. R. 8(c). If that understanding is wrong, someone please let me know.

In the Neal case, the military judge held dismissed an aggravated sexual contact charge, concluding that the new Article 120 unconstitutionally shifts the burden of proof on an element of the offense (consent) onto the accused. The government appealed under Article 62. In an en banc decision, NMCCA reversed. United States v. Neal, 67 M.J. 675 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. 2009) (en banc). The Judge Advocate General of the Navy then certified the case to CAAF for review, as we discussed here, making this one of the rare cases that a JAG certifies to CAAF even though the government prevailed at the CCA.

Both the Appellee (which I'm assuming is the government as represented by Code 46) and the Air Force's appellate government division (JAJG) moved for expedited consideration. The Appellee also moved to stay the court-martial proceedings in the case.

On Monday, CAAF denied the motion to stay proceedings while leaving the door open to revisiting that issue upon a further demonstration of good cause. CAAF also denied the motions for expedited review. Finally, CAAF set the case for oral argument at 0930 on 21 September 2009.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Extremely important military issue - viability of the new Art. 120. And CAAF can't see the practical need to resolve this quickly? Are they brain dead? This one needs to be on a fast track. If CAAF had to decide Bush v Gore, it would still be on their docket. Isn't this type of case the reason that CAAF exists? The Cox Commission needs to consider whether there is any more need for CAAF - let's move their cases to the Federal Circuit.