Senate to Vote on Competing Military Sexual Assault Bills


Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) wants to keep the prosecution of sexual assault cases within the chain of command. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) wants the cases to be referred immediately to the JAG Corps. Given some commanders’ penchant for protecting the reputation of their own commands, where would you rather these cases go?

TIME

The Senate is set to hold dueling votes Thursday on two measures overhauling how the military handles sexual assault cases. The sticking point has come down to whether to leave the prosecution of such crimes within the chain of command.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, has been doggedly pushing to give the cases to the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. She has the public endorsement of 54 of her colleagues, five short to avoid a filibuster. Gillibrand, who has the support of most victim’s groups, notes that according to the Pentagon’s own research, more 25% of women and 27% of men who were victims of unwanted sexual contact indicated that their offender was within their chain of command, thus making it difficult for them to report such cases. Gillibrand’s bill would leave 37 serious crimes uniquely military in nature, such as disobeying orders of going AWOL, within the chain…

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