"The Supreme Court described the American military justice system, as it had existed for nearly two centuries from the founding of the nation through World War II, as “a rough form of justice emphasizing summary procedures, speedy convictions and stern penalties.” At that time, the Court believed that military law “emphasize[d] the iron hand of discipline more than it [did] the even scales of justice.”
Finding this situation unacceptable, in the early 1950s, Congress dramatically reformed the military justice system to ensure that the men and women who serve in the armed forces enjoy— to the extent possible given the needs of the military—the same constitutional and legal protections that our service members swear to defend. As part of those reforms, Congress enacted the Uniform Code of Military Justice and established an independent, civilian court—the Court of Military Appeals, now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Those actions demonstrated our country’s dedication to protecting the constitutional and due process rights of service members, while also maintaining the disciplined and effective operation of the military.
Today, the success of those reforms is obvious. The Supreme Court recently observed that the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces functions much like any other American appellate court, reviewing criminal convictions without any suggestion that it is beholden to or under the influence of the military. The Court confirmed that military justice system’s essential character is “judicial.” If confirmed and appointed, I intend to continue that tradition of judicial independence and civilian oversight of the military justice system."
--Liam Hardy, 8/4/2020, Opening Statement, Nominations Hearing, Senate Armed Services Committee
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