Rep. Susan Davis Introduces Bill to Give Members of Military Full Access to Supreme Court

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Washington, DC, June 18, 2015 | comments

The words on the United States Supreme Court building read “Equal Justice Under Law.”  Yet some service members are denied access to the nation’s highest court.  To correct this inequity in the military justice system, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) introduced legislation to grant these service members access to the Supreme Court.

“It’s unjust to deny members of our Armed Forces access to our system of justice as they fight to preserve this very system,” said Davis, Ranking Member of Military Personnel Subcommittee.  “We ask our men and women in uniform to support and defend our Constitution, which guarantees due process, yet we deny some of them that process.  The disparity with which defendants and the government are treated under the current law is an inequity that should be rectified.”

Current law weights the playing field in favor of the government, granting the automatic right to Supreme Court review to the Department of Defense whenever a service member wins his or her case, but denying service members that same right when the government wins a conviction against them in almost all situations.

The Equal Justice for Our Military Act would eliminate this disparity by allowing all court-martialed service members facing dismissal, discharge or confinement for a year or more to appeal for Supreme Court review.  The bill would also allow the Supreme Court discretionary review of certain cases.

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