Tuesday, January 3, 2023

CRS brief on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

The Congressional Research Service has released this brief issue paper on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF). Excerpt on appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court (hyperlinks added):

Currently, the U.S. Supreme Court has jurisdiction over direct appeals of CAAF decisions only if the CAAF reviews the case in question. Since most of CAAF’s decisions result from petitions for grant of review, and since the CAAF denies most of those petitions, the Supreme Court does not have direct appellate jurisdiction over most military cases. Proponents of the current scope of review argue that it enables quicker final decisions in military cases and gives a court with special competence in military law substantial authority over military legal matters. Conversely, some argue that this limited review affords servicemembers less access to Supreme Court review than civilians. In light of these arguments, Congress may consider the scope of the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over military cases as delineated in 28 U.S.C. § 1259.

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