November 06, 2013

Group of senators begin push to remove sex assault cases from chain of command

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators began an effort Wednesday on Capitol Hill to pass a measure removing sexual assault prosecutions in the military from the chain of command.

Opposed by the Defense Department and top lawmakers such as Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., the controversial bill nevertheless has a significant measure of support and will be debated sometime in the next two weeks.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, led a press conference that included a politically eclectic group — Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii. Also appearing were several advocates of the proposal as well as a husband-and-wife team who described personal experience with the crime.

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By:  J. Taylor Rushing
Source: Stars and Stripes