Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The "Gillibrand" UCMJ amendment fails again

From Huffington Post
The Senate took a vote today on an amendment to the UCMJ that would remove commanders from decision making about who is accused of sexual assault and goes to a court-martial.

Sen. Gillibrand needed 60 votes for passage of the Military Justice Improvement Act, and she received 50.  I'm thinking the lower number in favor reflects a fact that some of her supporters from the past are no longer in the Senate.  This is a continuation of the Military Justice Improvement Act 2013.  You can see the Aye vote by name here.  I have been advised by a credible source that the voting over time is something like this.
  • Last year the cloture vote on the MJIA was 55 yea, 45 nay.
  • Today's vote was 50 yea, 49 nay. (The one Senator who didn't vote -- Senator Rubio -- voted nay last year).
  • This year, 36 Democratic Senators voted yea, as did 14 Republican Senators.
  • 39 Republican Senators voted nay, as did 10 Democratic Senators.  [Last year the count was 44 Democrats and 11 Republican yea, 34 Republicans and 11 Democrats nay.]
  • Two Senators who voted nay last year voted aye this year (Senators Kirk (R-IL) and Thune (R-SD)).
  • Of the 13 new Senators, 3 voted aye (1 Democrat and 2 Republicans) while 10 voted nay (all Republicans).
(Note that all calculations of party affiliation include Senators Sanders and King in the Democratic column.)

One suspects the following to hold true:
While this common sense proposal was filibustered on the Senate floor in March 2014 (55 Senators voted in favor, including 11 Republicans, and leadership of both caucuses), the fight to pass this critically needed reform will continue when the NDAA comes to the full Senate floor sometime later[.]
Here is a link to Protect Our Defenders on the Act.

1 comment:

  1. I assume this measure, or something like it, will remain in play -- with the cloture numbers subject to change as more data come in, more nasty cases come across the screen, and more changes occur in the Senate following the 2016 election, when 1/3 of the upper house will be up for grabs. A more immediate question is what, if anything, has the Military Justice Review Group headed by retired CAAF Chief Judge Andrew S. Effron, recommended by way of structural change -- and what will those recommendations look like after the Defense Department Office of General Counsel's review is complete.


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