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S 1752 - Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 - National Key Vote

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Title: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote on a motion to invoke cloture on a bill that amends the procedure for determination of whether to court-martial the trial of a military member who allegedly committed a certain offense, including sexual assault, effective 180 days after the enactment of the bill.

Highlights:

  • Authorizes a chief of staff or commandant of the Armed Forces to permit a commissioned officer to determine whether to court-martial the trial of a military member who has allegedly committed, conspired, solicited, or attempted an offense that has a maximum prison sentence of more than 1 year including, but not limited to, the following offenses (Secs. 2 & 3):
    • Rape and sexual assault;
    • Stalking; or
    • Other sexual misconduct.
  • Requires the commissioned officer who will determine whether or not to court-martial a trial to meet the following requirements (Sec. 2):
    • He or she is in the same military department as the member who is facing charges;
    • He or she is outside the chain of command of the member who is facing charges or of an alleged victim;
    • He or she is in grade O-6 or higher;
    • He or she is available as trial counsel; and
    • He or she has “significant” experience in trials by court-martial.
  • Requires a judicial proceedings panel to monitor and assess the provisions and implementations of this bill (Sec. 5).

NOTE: INVOKING CLOTURE REQUIRES A 3/5 MAJORITY OF THE SENATE. IT IS NOT A VOTE ON THE PASSAGE OF THE PIECE OF LEGISLATION, BUT LIMITS FURTHER DEBATE TO 30 HOURS. CLOTURE IS TYPICALLY USED TO END A FILIBUSTER. A FAILED CLOTURE VOTE OFTEN PREVENTS THE LEGISLATION FROM EVER COMING TO A VOTE.

NOTE: THIS LEGISLATION NEEDED A THREE-FIFTHS MAJORITY VOTE TO PASS.

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