|Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)|
Gillibrand’s bill has 29 co-sponsors, including fellow Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).Someday this measure will find its way into an authorization bill and perhaps even a real floor debate rather than puppet-show hearings (if that). So BZ to Senator Gillibrand for her persistence in a worthy cause over the long haul.
The bill also has a few Republican co-sponsors: Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Ky.).
One big point to keep in mind: while dismay over the incidence of sexual assault in the armed forces is what has prompted the many sponsors and supporters of this measure to decide it's time to get commanders out of the driver's seat, the mischief goes beyond sexual assault: it is structural and involves the disposition of all serious offenses. Not that the sex offenses are to be overlooked: visit the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces web page for cases decided in the current Term of Court and see how many involve sex offenses.