SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory - High Wind Watch - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Supreme Court hears rare appeal challenging military judges

The Supreme Court delved into unusual terrain on Tuesday when it heard arguments brought by military service members ...

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 5:29 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 5:29 AM

The Supreme Court delved into unusual terrain on Tuesday when it heard arguments brought by military service members -- the first time the justices have heard such a case in 21 years.

At issue in the case -- Dalmazzi v. United States -- is an 1870 statute that prohibits active-duty service members from holding a second elected or appointed government office unless Congress expressly authorizes it. It's this law, for example, that prevents active-duty military officers from holding most Cabinet positions, or from being elected to state or local office.

In this case, the issue arises from the appointment of four military judges to also serve as judges on the Court of Military Commission Review, the special appeals court Congress created in 2006 to oversee the Guant-namo military commissions.

Eight service members were convicted by court-martial, and had their appeal heard by one of these four miliary judges while they were serving in both capacities. And under the 1870 statute, the service members argue, the appointment of these judges to this second office should have required them to forfeit their military status -- thereby disqualifying them from hearing their appeals.

During over an hour of oral arguments, the justices didn't clearly signal which way they were headed.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg worried at one point about the fate of the judges who had agreed to serve in both capacities. She wondered if they had been given "fair notice" of the potentially "draconian" consequence that they wouldn't be able to serve in the military.

"This is an important test case for a quietly important statute," said Steve Vladeck, lawyer to service members and also a CNN contributor. "The ban on dual officeholding helps to prevent against the excessive militarization of civilian governmental institutions, including, in this case, the courts."

The Trump administration argues that only one of the eight cases is properly before the Supreme Court in the first place, and that, in that case, the dual-officeholding ban isn't implicated because judges hearing appeals from military commissions exercise "a classic military function." And even if they do, the government claims that a 1983 amendment to the dual-officeholding ban insulates violations of that law from these kinds of legal challenges.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4812309

Reported Deaths: 70616
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147679126410
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3646344163
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871374
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 45°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 46°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 45°
Grants Pass
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 45°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 29°
Winds pick up Tuesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events