30 November 2009

Equal Justice for Our Military Act slated for markup by full House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday

[UPDATED] On Wednesday, 2 December 2009, the full U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary will markup the Equal Justice for Our Military Act of 2009, H.R. 569 according to House Judiciary counsel Eric Garduno and the Committee web site's hearing page here. The markup will be available for viewing live via a web cast here at 1015 hours (U.S. Eastern Standard Time).

In July the Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy of the House Judiciary favorably reported H.R. 569 out to the full Committee. I've previously discussed that here.

Over on CAAFlog, Dwight Sullivan, has previously discussed highlights of the Subcommittee hearing which took place back in June. Mr. Sullivan's post can be found here. Mr. Sullivan also testified in support of H.R. 569 and his opening statement can be found here.

Retired Major General Altenburg, U.S. Army, testified against the bill. His opening statement can be found here.

The bill enjoys broad support from military veterans groups and legal advocacy associations. The supporters include the American Bar Association, Fleet Reserve Association, Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, Military Officers Association of America, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and National Institute of Military Justice. Three former chief judges of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces have also supported H.R. 569, Judges Walter Cox III and Eugene Sullivan, and the late Robinson Everett.

I've been told by contacts on the Hill that within a week or two after Wednesday's markup an official Congressional report will be issued on H.R. 569.

This week in Congress (30 Nov 2009) . . .

[UPDATED] The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, hearing on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Funding: Appropriations to Programs, 1000 hours, 334 Cannon House Office Building. A live web cast can be viewed here.

House Committee on the Judiciary, markup on the Equal Justice for Our Military Act of 2009, H.R. 569, 1015 hours, 2138 Rayburn House Office Building. The committee web site's hearing page is located here. The markup will be available for viewing live via a web cast here at 1015 hours (U.S. Eastern Standard Time). This blog has discussed the bill here and here. CAAFlog has also provided past highlights of a subcommittee hearing conducted in June which can be found here.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee Economic Opportunity, hearing on Education Roundtable, 1300 hours, 334 Cannon House Office Building. It will be web cast live here.
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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

29 November 2009

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (30 Nov 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

The House and Senate are sitting this week. There are no military or veterans matters that are scheduled to be debated on the floor of either the House or Senate or any Parliamentary Committee.

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The High Court is sitting on 1 December 2009 in Canberra; none of the cases being argued concern military justice or veterans issues.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

There are no military justice or veterans cases being argued this week in the Federal Court of Australia (Full Court).

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal next sits on 10 December 2009.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

23 November 2009

This week in Congress (23 Nov 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Congress is in recess this week.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

(Since I'm home in Sydney for T-day, I'm subjecting my Australian side of the family to an American Thanksgiving.)

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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

22 November 2009

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (23 Nov 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

The House and Senate are sitting this week. There are no military or veterans matters that are scheduled to be debated on the floor of either the House or Senate.

The following is going on this week in Parliamentary Committees:

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Joint House-Senate Public Accounts and Audit Committee, Review of Auditor-General's Reports Nos. 32 (2008/09 to 1 (2009/10) (Audit Report No. 48 deals with Defence projects), 1145 hours, Committee Room 2R2, Parliament House, Canberra. There are four separate submissions from the Australian National Audit Office submissions which can be found here.

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The High Court is not sitting this week. It will next sit on 1 December 2009 in Canberra.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

There are no military justice or veterans cases being argued this week in the Federal Court of Australia (Full Court).

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal next sits on 10 December 2009.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

16 November 2009

This week in Congress (16 Nov 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Monday, 16 November 2009

The Senate Floor resumes its debate on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriation Bill FY 2010, H.R. 3082, at 1400 hours.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, hearing on Easing the Burdens through Employment, 0930 hours, 418 Russell Senate Office Building.

Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, hearing on Accountability for Foreign Contractors: The Lieutenant Colonel Dominic "Rocky" Baragona Justice for American Heroes Harmed by Contractors Act, 1430 hours, 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Health, hearing on Review of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Contract Health Care: Project HERO, 1000 hours, 334 Cannon House Office Building. It will be web cast live here.

Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, hearing on The Forthood Attack: A Preliminary Assessment, 1000 hours, 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

15 November 2009

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (16 Nov 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

The House and Senate are sitting this week. There are no military or veterans matters that are scheduled to be debated on the floor of either the House or Senate.

The following is going on this week in Parliamentary Committees:

Monday, 16 November 2009


Joint House-Senate Public Accounts and Audit Committee, Review of Auditor-General's Reports Nos. 32 (2008/09 to 1 (2009/10) (Audit Report No. 48 deals with Defence projects), 0945 hours, Committee Room 2R2, Parliament House, Canberra. (The hearing will also continue on Wednesday.) The Australian National Audit Office submissions can be found here.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Joint House-Senate Public Accounts and Audit Committee, Review of Auditor-General's Reports Nos. 32 (2008/09 to 1 (2009/10) (Audit Report No. 48 deals with Defence projects), 1145 hours, Committee Room 2R2, Parliament House, Canberra. The Australian National Audit Office submissions can be found here.

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The High Court is not sitting this week. It will next sit on 1 December 2009 in Canberra.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

Friday, 20 November 2009

Smith v. Commonwealth of Australia [2009] FCA 684 (24 June 2009), VID516/2009, Full Court hearing. The case involves the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (Cth) s30C - "double dipping" - entitlement to pension for war-caused injury - payment in settlement of common law action in negligence - whether both payments in respect of incapacity from the same injury is double dipping - whether s30C is applicable to the facts of the case.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal next sits on 10 December 2009.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

13 November 2009

Proposed U.S. Senate amendment to guarantee Supreme Court access for troops will not move forward due to a procedural flaw

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif) proposed SAmdt 2766 will not move forward because of a procedural flaw with the proposed amendment. That type of amendment cannot be tacked onto an appropriations bill under Senate rules. SAmdt 2766 had been proposed on Monday by Senator Feinstein.

The proposed amendment was to get the Equal Justice for United States Military Personnel Act of 2009, S. 357, placed in as an amendment to the FY 2010 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriation Bill, H.R. 3082 on SAmdt 2730 by Senator Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). Today Senator Johnson's Legislative Director informed me that proposed SAmdt 2766 wasn't going to be added due to the procedural flaw.

The Equal Justice for Our Military Act of 2009, H.R. 569 is still pending in the House of Representatives. Sources on the Hill have indicated that it is expected to have a full House Judiciary Committee markup next month.

10 November 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Senator Feinstein trying to have S. 357 accepted as an Amendment to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriation Bill

[UPDATED] Yesterday U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) proposed S.Amdt. 2766 in order to get the Equal Justice for United States Military Personnel Act of 2009, S. 357, placed in as an amendment to the FY 2010 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriation Bill, H.R. 3082, which will continue to be debated on Monday, 16 November at 1400 hours when the Senate resumes its business.

Here is the relevant page of the Congressional Record showing the language of S.Amdt 2766. It is identical language to S. 357.

08 November 2009

This week in Congress (9 Nov 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

No military justice or veterans matters will be heard by Congressional committees this week.
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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (9 Nov 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

The House and Senate next sit on 16 November 2009.

The following is going on this week in Parliamentary Committees:

Monday, 9 November 2009


Joint House-Senate Public Works Committee, Inquiry into the Proposed Construction and Renovation of Housing for Defence at Larrakeyah Barracks, Darwin, Northern Territory, 1030 hours, Parliament House, The Dining Room, Mitchell Street, Darwin, NT. Submission can be found here.

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The High Court is sitting in Canberra this week but there are no cases that involve military justice or veterans issues being argued.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

There are no military justice or veterans cases being argued this week.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal next sits on 10 December 2009.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

05 November 2009

November = less frequent blogging month

For both Nick and I, free time to blog this month has been chock-a-block and that is likely to continue for the rest of November. I've been very busy in Australia with the RSL and also in the United States lobbying for the passage of H.R. 569. Nick is studying for law school finals. Thus there will be less blogging this month. We expect a return to the normal blogging frequency in December.

We will continue our weekly posts of This week in Parliament; and This week in Congress despite our busy schedules.

02 November 2009

This week in Congress (2 Nov 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, VA and Indian Health Service Cooperation, 1000 hours, 418 Russell Senate Office Building.
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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

01 November 2009

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (2 November 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

The House and Senate next sit on 16 November 2009.

The following is going on this week in Parliamentary Committees:

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Joint House-Senate Public Works Committee, Inquiry into Enhanced Land Force Stage 2 Facilities, 1315 hours, Gaythorne RSL, 534 Samford Rd., Mitchelton, QLD. (The hearing will be on the Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera, Queensland and other Defence bases and training areas around Australia.)

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The High Court is sitting in Canberra this week but there are no cases that involve military justice or veterans issues being argued.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

There are no military justice or veterans cases being argued this week.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal next sits on 10 December 2009.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.