|Prof. Steven Vladeck|
Prof. (and Global Military Justice Reform contributor) Steven Vladeck has written this Just Security post on The Supreme Court's Troubling Neglect of Courts-Martial. He comments:
Why does the Supreme Court ignore the military even in cases in which it has jurisdiction to review a court-martial? It seems to me that there are three possible explanations:
- There is a perception that the issues presented in appeals from CAAF just aren’t worth the Court’s time, especially since they’re usually only about military law and/or procedure, and seldom have implications outside the military justice system;
- Even if the issues are sometimes cert.-worthy, the Court views its relationship with the military courts differently than its relationship with lower federal and state courts — and is more inclined to defer to CAAF’s resolution of these issues; or
- The decline in review of courts-martial is part of the larger waning of the Court’s interest in direct criminal appeals (including, in the most recent Term, a grand total of two merits decisions arising out of direct appeals from state courts in criminal cases).
My own view, for what it’s worth, is that it’s mostly a combination of (2) and (3) . . . .