Military sex crimes bill draws bipartisan opposition, too

Thursday, July 18, 2013
 | 
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

A Republican senator and retired military attorney disagrees with the effort by some of his colleagues to pass a bill that would take away the authority of commanders to oversee cases related to sex crimes in the military.

Gillibrand

This week Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) added their names to the list of sponsors for legislation authored by New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand that would remove commanders from the process of deciding whether serious crimes, including sexual misconduct cases, go to trial. She says she wants to overhaul the military justice system to stem the tide of sexual assault.

The bill now has the support of 33 senators, one third of the Senate; it includes Democrats Barbara Boxer (California) and Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), as well as Republicans Charles Grassley (Iowa) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). Gillibrand claims the bipartisan coalition lining up behind her Military Justice Improvement Act proves it “is not a Democratic or Republican idea” but “just the right idea.”

But Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), who is a retired JAG officer with the United States Air Force and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, opposes Gillibrand's legislation.

Wicker, Roger (R-Mississippi)"We don't need to harm the chain of command's ability to enforce good order and discipline,” he argues. “We can put some checks and balances there, but I think the advocates such as Senator Gillibrand – and now she does have a few Republican supporters there – I think they're still in the minority.

“There are a good many senators, Republican and Democrat, who see that the system through the Uniformed Code of Military Justice worked pretty well,” Wicker continues. “So I think we'll win on that. I think we'll get tough on sexual harassment, but we'll preserve the system."

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan, also opposes Gillibrand's bill, which could be debated on the Senate floor as soon as this month.

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Of the four media hosts/moderators for the 2016 election debates, which do you most trust to be fair?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

South Carolina school shooting: 3 wounded; teen in custody
Congress overrides Obama's veto of Sept. 11 bill
Deal reached to keep US government running, help Flint
Alabama justice 'urged defiance, not compliance' on marriage
Verbal battle breaks out between Baltimore mayor and prosecutor
NAACP head wants people to ignore Keith Lamont Scott's past

LATEST FROM THE WEB

The real agenda behind Charlotte's 'peaceful' protests: Anti-white, anti-American values
Lester Holt learns his Lauer lesson
The Ferguson effect in Ferguson
Black man who dislikes cops stunned by white trooper's action
AP-GfK Poll: Voters more confident in Trump's health

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
Keystone-related jobs a ‘blip’? Really, Mr. President?

An energy research organization finds Barack Obama's latest comments on the Keystone XL pipeline "troublesome." Those same comments also have raised the hackles of the Canadian company proposing the pipeline.