The Mayer Law Blog

The Fight Is Far From Over

Posted January 7th, 2014 in Courts-Martial, Military Law

If you thought the senate would give the latest round of changes to the UCMJ some time to take hold, you thought wrong. Over the next couple of months, a battle will be waged between those who support the changes proposed by Senator Claire McCaskill (former prosecutor and District Attorney) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (champion for victim advocacy groups).

More radical changes could occur, and it will be interesting to see how established military lawyers react and adjust to the changes, when they occur.

Via the National Journal:

The battle over sexual assault in the military is back.

When the Senate reconvenes this month, members will immediately dive into a legislative struggle over how the armed services deals with accusations of sexual assault within their own ranks. And as it does, two high-profile Democrats—one a rising star in the party and the other a battle-tested moderate holding a red-state seat—will resume their internal scrap over the issue.

Both New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill agree the military needs to change the way it handles assault cases, but they have competing proposals on how to do it.

McCaskill’s camp believes that Gillibrand’s plan would actually hurt the effort to fight sexual assault in the armed forces. And while they compete for their proposals, relations between the pair have become increasingly tense.

“I’m frustrated that the reforms that we have done have not gotten the attention they deserve,” McCaskill said in November of her dispute with Gillibrand. “I’m not sure that I’ve done so well at the public relations on this; I’ll give that to her.”

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