30 March 2009

Jewish War Veterans support Equal Justice for Our Military Act

Earlier this month the Jewish War Veterans of the USA indicated that it made the Equal Justice for Our Military Act one of its legislative priorities. On 5 March 2009, JWV National Commander Ira Novoselsky told a joint session of the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees that "JWV supports legislation that will restore due process and equal treatment under the law for our service members and veterans." Mr. Novoselsky's statement can be found here.

JWV now joins a list of other veterans organizations and military advocacy groups supporting the pending legislation. The Fleet Reserve Association, Military Officers Association of America, National Institute of Military Justice and at least three former chief judges of the Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces have previously indicated their support of the measure.

Within the first month of the 111th Congress two bills were introduced to grant servicemembers equal access to the Supreme Court: HR 569, the Equal Justice for Our Military Act of 2009 and S 357 the Equal Justice for United States Military Personnel Act of 2009. An identical bill to HR 569 was passed by the House of Representatives in the last Congress but held up by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Senator Graham, without comment, refused to consent to the previous House-passed bill (HR 3174 - 110th Congress) being placed upon the unanimous consent calendar of the Senate for a floor vote. Calls and emails to Senator Graham's press secretary, Wess Hickman, for comment weren't returned.

[Note: The author of this post has long lobbied Congress on behalf of the pending legislation.]

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