Time’s Almost Up
Two competing proposals for reforming the military justice system’s sexual assault policy are stalled in the Senate and may never even reach a vote if Congress doesn’t move soon.
Time is running out for Congress to pass reforms to the military justice system’s sexual assault policy. Though pressure has been building for months as new reports detailing the extent of sexual assault in the military spurred calls for change, the reform measures may need to wait another year unless the Senate reaches a breakthrough soon.
Two competing proposals are on the table. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is pushing to remove commander’s authority to decide whether or not to prosecute cases of alleged sexual assault, but keeps the judicial process within the military system. Meanwhile, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) had proposed a reform that would keep prosecution authority within the military chain of command but expands protections for servicemembers who report sexual assault and prohibits the “good soldier” defense for those accused of crimes, among other provisions.