A series of pertinent – and impertinent – comments on military justice
A series of pertinent – and impertinent – observations about the Armed Forces,
with an emphasis on military justice
Changing times: NPR reports that one out of every seven marriages today is inter-racial. Perhaps times are changing for the better about race after all. We are reminded of a dear friend, Walter Jackson, a retired sailor. He could remember riding the streetcar in Washington DC and coming to the Virginia state line – yes, he had to move to the back of the streetcar….
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The dangers of war: The Washington Post reports that the United States military dropped more bombs on Laos than in Germany/Japan combined in World War II. Allegedly, Laos was left with so much unexploded ordinance that – in the past four decades – leftover bombs killed 20,000 Laotians.
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Behind bars? Safe streets?: Retired Federal Judge Shira Scheindin cautions about what she sees as the injustice of mandatory minimum sentences. She reports a steady rise in the prison population from 338,000 in 1970, to 2.2 million in 2010.
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Washington’s Farewell Speech: CNN political analyst John Avlon comments that President Washington retired some 20 years after the Declaration of Independence. Historically, it was far from clear that the American experiment would survive. There was talk of civil war, and regional divisions festered. Washington’s speech warned about the forces that had toppled republics in the past – hyper-partisanship, excessive debt, and foreign wars. Washington feared that political factions could turn citizens against each other, agitating with “ill-founded jealousies and false alarms.”
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Hate Groups: the Southern Poverty Law Center reports a dramatic growth in anti-Muslim hate groups – from 34 in 2015 to 101 today.
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Inequality: Author Gamesh Sitaramam warns about an economy “designed to stack the deck in favor of the big guys.” Today, he reports, the 20 wealthiest Americans own more than the bottom half of the population. America is not the first nation to face such a disparity, he reports; in ancient Athens, Plutarch was complaining about the disparity between the rich and poor — a situation which should put that Republic “in an altogether perilous condition.” And after less than 20 years under the Roman Republic, plebes were so disgusted with domination by the rich that they abandoned the city in the middle of a war and refused to fight.
Mr. Sitaramam comments that equality was more a possibility in former generations because of an open frontier and the abundance of land. In more recent days, he argues, America enjoyed relative equality from 1945 to the mid-1970s as women and people of color began to share a bit more in the national prosperity. He reports that about 47% of Americans identify themselves as working class, compared with 42% who call themselves middle class. He also asserts that the decline of unions accounts for about half the growth of income inequality from 1980 to 2010.
Today’s blog focuses on amazing changes taking place in both
technology and human relationships.
The Navy has successfully flown an MV-22 Osprey with a three-D printed, metal link and fitting assembly for its engine housing. Three-D printed parts have been used in the Navy for several years, according to published reports, but this was an innovation involving safety – trusting the three-D part when it could spell the difference between flying and crashing.
The Air Force will continue to use the term airman despite some protests that it is sexist. Regardless of the service member’s gender, the term airman will remain. Reportedly, the majority of Air Force members see it as a description of the career, not a gender-specific word.
In contrast, the Marines are dropping ‘man’ from 19 job titles. This follows a study by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus regarding gender-based titles.
Speaking of gender – Defense officials estimate that there are between 2,500 and 7, 000 transgender troops in today’s active-duty force of 1.3 million. Gender treatment is included in proposed mental health services, according to a recent article in the Military Times.
A neat issue of freedom of religion recently occurred in the Washington DC area. A local woman was found guilty of cruelty by the ritual killing of roosters. She defended on the ground that she was a Santeria priestess, engaged in a religious ritual protected by First Amendment freedom of religion. The constitutional issue was sidestepped – she’s was found guilty of cruelty to the chickens prior to the ritual killing. Any Santerias in the US military Mark
Air Force drone pilots – flying remotely-piloted aircraft — will soon be eligible for up to $35K in retention bonuses, according to the Air Force Times.
Pentagon officials are claiming that a contractor’s artificial intelligence program can “defeat” a human pilot in simulations at the Air Force Research Lab.
Meanwhile, following up on earlier speculation, the Navy has indeed named a ship after gay-rights icon Lieut. Harvey Milk.
Is the Officer Grade Determination Act [OGDA] constitutional? We argue that it is not. The crucial issue is Constitutional Due Process. We continue the survey begun in our last blog.
- Two Types of Due Process
Substantive Due Process. The principle of “Substantive Due Process of Law” has its origin in England. It began as a protection against arbitrary actions by the Crown. In this country, the requirement is intended to limit undue governmental power – to shield the citizen against arbitrary depravation of rights relating to life, liberty, or property. See Vernon v. State, 245 Ala. 633, 10 So. 2d 388 (1944); Railway Mail Ass’n v. Corsi, 293 N.Y. 315, 56 N.E. 2d. 721 (1944) aff’d, 326 U S. 88 (1945). See generally Anderson Nat’l Bank v. Luckett, 321 U.S. 233, 244 (1944). Neither lawmakers nor judges can act arbitrarily. Snyder v.Com. of Mass., 291 U.S. 97, 54 S.Ct. 330, 78 L.Ed. 674 (1934). The legislature, as well as the judiciary, is forbidden to act arbitrarily in contravention of fundamental principles of liberty and justice. Palko v. State of Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319 (1937).
“Substantive due process” first appeared as a distinct concept in legal casebooks in the 1930s; by 1952, it had been twice mentioned in Supreme Court opinions. See White, G. Edward, The Constitution and the New Deal. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (2000) 259; Rosalie Levenson Reining, “Abuses of Executive Power through Substantive Due Process,” 60 Florida L R. (2008).
The core concept of Due Process is reflected in a much quoted-Supreme Court decision of Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U. S. 97 (1934), which involved a defendant whose demand to be present had been refused. The Supreme Court commented that:
It is a rule as old as the law that no one shall be personally bound until he or she has had a day in court, by which is meant until he or she has been duly cited to appear and has been afforded an opportunity to be heard…. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is free to regulate the procedure of its courts in accordance with its own conception of policy and fairness unless, in so doing, it offends some principle of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental. Twining v. New Jersey, 211 U. S. 78, 106, Rogers v. Peck, 199 U. S. 425, 434; Maxwell v. Dow, 176 U. S. 581, 604; Hurtado v. California, 110 U. S. 516; Frank v. Mangum, 237 U. S. 309, 326; Powell v. Alabama, 287 U. S. 45, 67 What may not be taken away is notice of the charge and an adequate opportunity to be heard in defense of it. Twining v. New Jersey, supra; Powell v. Alabama, supra, pp. 287 U. S. 68 at 71 Holmes v. Conway, 241 U. S. 624. Cf. Blackmer v. United States, 284 U. S. 421 [emphasis added].
A fundamental requirement of Substantive Due Process is an opportunity to be heard. That requires notice and proceedings adequate to safeguard the right for which the Constitutional protection is invoked. Richards v. Jefferson County, Ala., 517 U.S. 793 (1996). See generally Taylor v. Sturgell, 553 U.S. 880 (2008) [endorsing the well-known concept that every litigant should have his/her day in court].
It follows that – except in emergency situations – the government must provide a hearing before depriving an individual of a protected interest. U.S. v. James Daniel Good Real Property, 510 U.S. 43 (1993)[ even a nominal property owner is entitled to a pre-seizure hearing]. Judicially, Due Process precedents are often said to involve a two-stage analysis. First, the Court must ask whether the asserted individual interests are encompassed within the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection of “life, liberty, or property.” Second, if such rights are implicated, the question becomes what procedures suffice to constitute “Due Process of law.” Ingraham v. Wright, 430 U.S. 651, 711(1977)[corporal punishment at school – issue of our notice and opportunity to be heard before spanking is imposed].
The United States Supreme Court looks to the nature of the interest at stake. Greenholtz v. Inmates of Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex, 442 U.S. 1, (1979)[class action by Nebraska inmates – procedures found to provide sufficient Constitutional protection]. The grieving party must have more than an abstract interest and more than a unilateral expectation of protection. In short, there must be a legitimate, objective claim of entitlement which courts are willing to enforce.
Due Process protections extend to non-judicial matters as well. Ballard v. Hunter, 204 U.S. 241, 255 (1907). Administrative and executive proceedings must also satisfy the Due Process Clause. McMillen v. Anderson, 95 U.S. 37, 41 (1877).
Procedural Due Process. Procedural Due Process – as its name suggests – requires the government to set appropriate procedures and follow them when it seeks to deprive anyone of life, liberty, or property. This can be contrasted with Substantive Due Process, which prohibits arbitrary government action regardless of the procedures used.
- Interim summary
The requirements of Due Process vary with the type of proceeding. Due Process in an administrative setting does not always require the stringent application of the judicial model. Due Process is flexible; perhaps the best that can be said is that it requires whatever protections the particular situation demands.
And what satisfies fair play or “the law of the land” in a particular situation? The issue turns on the need for both: [a] decent, fair dealing; and [b] minimizing the risk of error in decision-making. Gilbert v. Homar, 520 US. 924 (1997); Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460, (1893).
Due process often requires balancing:
- the private interest affected by official action;
- the risk of erroneous deprivation of the interest through the procedures used;
- the probable value, if any, of additional or substitute procedural safeguards; and
- the government interest involved. See generally Buelna v. Department of Homeland Security, 2014 MS PB 45 (2014) [security clearance suspension].
Considering case law and commentary, Due Process rights in this area might be summarized as follows:
Due Process has been defined as the inquiry into how life, liberty, or property is taken.
Precedents call for two separate inquiries in evaluating an alleged Due Process violation. (1) Did the petitioner unfairly lose life, liberty or property? and (2) if so, did he/she receive at least minimal procedural protections warranted under the circumstances? Brown v. Hot, Sexy, and Safer Productions, Inc., 68 F.3d 525 (1st Cir. 1995). The first of these considerations is Substantive Due Process. The second is Procedural Due Process.
Due Process dictates that an aggrieved party has at least these minimum rights in dealing with the government: Notice…an opportunity to defend…an impartial tribunal …and a decision consistent with essential fairness.
This view of Due Process was developed in Hannah v. Larche, 363 U.S. 4207 (1960), reh’g denied, 364 U.S. 855 (1960). Such rights are assuredly guaranteed when the governmental action is involved in the adjudication. See also S Michael Bender v. Director, Patent and Trademark Office, __ Fed. Supp. 1243 (Fed. Circuit 2007).
The Supreme Court pointed out in Hannah that Due Process embodies rules of fair play which — through the years — have been recognized in a variety of different proceedings. Whatever the forum, Due Process requires the government to act in a fair manner. U.S. v. Saleno, 481 U.S. 739(1987); Greene v. McElroy, 360 U.S. 474 (1959).
An officer stumbles badly in his/her military career. The case is forwarded to a service administrative reduction board. The task there is to determine whether the officer served satisfactorily in the present grade or should be reduced to some lesser, honorably-held grade.
Military implementation of this the Officer Grade Determination Act process [OGDA] reveals a dismal and troubling lack of essential fairness. OGDA detractors describe it as an impermissible “backroom” proceeding, utterly failing to provide minimal Due Process.
How bad is service implementation under such directives as Air Force Instruction 36-3203 or Army AR 15-80? Bad!
Consider – officers undergoing the process are denied:
- Chance to be heard
- Right of confrontation
- Right to a lawyer
- Impartial tribunal
- Right to raise issues and defenses
- Right to testify under oath
- Right to call witnesses
- Right to cross-examine adverse witnesses
- Fair play regarding evidence – the right to review and contest the evidence
- Role of mitigating factors such as war service or a distinguished record in the contested grade
- A decisional document, essentially verbatim, containing written findings of fact and reasons for the decision
- Initial determination measured by what standard — substantial evidence, clear and convincing, preponderance?
- Designation of is the final decisionmaker by name and what standard applies there?
The precedents generate an impressive case for the discredited officer: A military pension [retirement at an earned grade] is a protected property right. And the OGDA — which radically reduces the value of a military pension (perhaps by half a million dollars) — fails to achieve Constitutional Due Process.
Determining whether an applicant receives fair play under the OGDA begins with an in-depth Constitutional analysis of Due Process. Then, the OGDA can be assessed to see whether it comports with those Due Process standards.
Part I – a survey of Due Process requirements – begins below.
- Due Process — “the Law of the Land”
Outline. The term “Due Process of law” in the Constitution has been repeatedly compared to the phrase “the law of the land,” created in the 13th century Magna Carta and advanced in U.S. state and federal constitutions. It means simply that the government must operate in accordance with the law. See Peter Strauss, “Due Process of Law,” online at cornell.eduwex/ due process.
The Constitutional Due Process clause ensures that — before depriving a citizen of life, liberty or property — the government must employ fair procedures. Yet as will be seen in the next section, it is not enough for the government merely to follow existing laws or regulations [procedural Due Process]. Beyond that, citizens are also entitled to fundamental fair dealing, even beyond what any applicable regulation/ law provides [substantive Due Process].
Military Examples. A couple of military examples might clarify the difference between the two types of Due Process.
- Suppose Captain Dwight Moody, a judge advocate, is up for major; he is nonselected. Applicable regulations guarantee at least one senior judge advocate on his voting panel. However, somebody erred, and Moody’s panel does not meet that requirement. Moody has been denied procedural Due Process – his “right” to the senior JAG, as required by Air Force instruction. Here is a clear violation of procedural Due Process; the AFBCMR will almost surely award him a new promotion board.
- In contrast, suppose Lt Col Dwayne Wright is up for O-6. He learns that his promotion board included a general officer fiercely antagonistic to the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge. Wright is a member of that Lodge, and his membership was known to the voting members, including the biased general. Wright now asserts that he was deprived of substantive Due Process. True enough, there is nothing in promotion board guidance addressing Masonic lodges. But fundamental fair play dictates that this was unwarranted discrimination. Wright almost undoubtedly will win redress at the AFBCMR.
Early case law. Hurtado v. California, 110 U.S. 516 (1884), is generally considered the embryonic Supreme Court ruling illuminating Due Process. See Israel, “Criminal Procedure: the Supreme Court’s Search for Interpretive Guidelines,” 45 St. Louis U. L.J. 303, 306 (2001). See also Twining v. New Jersey, 211 U.S. 78, 101 (1908); Brown v. New Jersey, 175 U.S. 172, 175 (1899).
How can anyone know what fair process is “due?” The law is murky. However, the Supreme Court has developed some reasonably-dependable precedents throughout the years. Strauss, supra. They will be developed – and applied – later in this brief.
- Digging Deeper: Twin Concepts – Procedural and Substantive Due Process. The dual substantive and procedural aspects of Due Process can now be analyzed more deeply.
Overview. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment demands that — before depriving an individual of life, liberty, or property — the government must follow fair procedures. To reprise:
- Procedurally, the process in a particular case must adhere to an established, rational framework, typically set forth in an ordinance, rule, or regulation.
- Substantively, the overall result must be fair and consistent with a free, orderly, and law-abiding society. See Harrah Independent School District v. Martin, 440 U.S. 194 (1979); Enquist v. Oregon Dept. of Agriculture, 553 U.S. 591 (2008).
Substantive Due Process Boundaries. There are limits on substantive Due Process safeguards; not every “hangnail” is entitled to Constitutional redress. The crux is whether rights have been attacked which are so rooted in the precedents and conscience of Americans that they are viewed as fundamental. Michael H. v. Gerald D, 491 U. S. 110, 112 (1989). As the Supreme Court explained in Perry v. Sindermann, 408 U.S. 593, 601 (1972):
For at least a quarter-century, this Court has made clear that, even though a person has no “right” to a valuable governmental benefit, and even though the government may deny him the benefit for any number of reasons, there are some reasons upon which the government may not rely. It may not deny a benefit to a person on a basis that infringes his constitutionally protected interest….
Property interests “take many forms,” as the Supreme Court noted in Bd. of Regents of State Colls. v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564 (1972); and they can arise in diverse settings. When individuals allege unfair depravation, three minimum Due Process requirements come into play:
- The complaining party must have a forum where the matter can be adjudicated.
- The determination to commandeer the property must be reasonable, fair, and free of gross error.
- The outcome must not be arbitrary.
Military application. Unless military necessity mandates to the contrary, military members are entitled to civil liberties stated in the Bill of Rights, as incorporated through the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as general protection against arbitrary, wrongful government action. The highest military court has confirmed the general applicability of the Bill of Rights to those serving in uniform. See United States v. Easton, 71 M. J. 168, 174-175 (CAAF 2012). See also Weiss v. United States, 510 U.S. 163, 194 (1994) (Ginsburg, J., concurring): “men and women in the Armed Forces do not leave constitutional safeguards and judicial protection behind when they enter military service.”
NEXT TIME: OGDA – Substantive and Procedural Due Process in Depth
 The Supreme Court has noted that wise public policy may require even higher standards than those minimally acceptable under the Constitution. Lassiter v. Department of Social Services of Durham County, N.C., 453 U.S. 18 (1981); Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319 (1976); see also Broom v Derrick and South Carolina. Dept. of Social Services. __ S.Car. __ Opinion 27251 (2013).
 Substantive Due Process (fair play) is a Norman concept. It is an overarching requirement, regardless of established procedures. In simple terms, the system must BE fair, and not merely appear to be fair. See Fuentes v. Shevin, 407 U.S. 67, 80-81 (1972). See generally Justia, “The Requirements of Due Process, http://law.justia.com/constitution/us amendment-14 36/-procedural-due-process-civil.html
The other day, we made a listing of Air Force installations where we had the pleasure of serving clients, both in person and long-distance. Here’s our list:
Maxwell AFB: faculty member, original JAG School, designed courses from the ground up. Later, several administrative cases, one involving sensitive security clearance concerns
Eielson AFB: Three years on station as deputy staff judge advocate. Subsequently, one officer elimination hearing, fully successful
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
Luke AFB: conscientious objector hearing for a doctor
Beale AFB: successful in-person hearing to retain career NCO; racial issues, media coverage. One medical board
Edwards AFB: litigated court-martial of young female E-3; extremely light sentence. Issues of equal treatment for women
Los Angeles AFB: several cases, including officer elimination action with security clearance issues, and a complex drug case. Extensive use of nurse-practitioner on staff
Travis AFB: general court-martial; clemency package included lie detector results from polygrapher on staff
Vandenberg AFB: two successful corrections board effort, one discharge review board case
Peterson AFB: two administrative discharge hearings
United States Air Force Academy: several cases involving cadet wrongdoing; two leading to findings of no misconduct
Dover AFB: on-site officer case, two AFBCMR cases
District of Columbia
Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling: with law offices only 15 miles away, numerous courts and boards in “our backyard; often, heavy media coverage and security concerns. Frequent use of polygrapher on staff
Eglin AFB: one litigated court-martial, two boards, discharge upgrade
Hurlburt Field: special court-martial
MacDill AFB: two trials, one separations board, one VA case
Patrick AFB: one court-martial
Tyndall AFB: two appeals to AFBCMR. Detailed analysis by nurse-practitioner on staff
Moody AFB: two administrative discharges involving command influence, Congressman involved
Robins AFB: several board hearings involving both active duty and reservist officers
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam: one court-martial, a Merit Board security clearance hearing, one administrative discharge hearing
Mountain Home AFB: two corrections board cases, one medical board case
Scott AFB: litigated general court-martial
McConnell AFB: litigated discharge hearing for drugs; three general courts-martial
Barksdale AFB: corrections board appeal; one medical board; one VA case
Joint Base Andrews/Andrews AFB: numerous courts and boards, both officer and enlisted; Military Defender main offices are 30 minutes from this installation. Frequent use of polygrapher on staff. Media coverage
Hanscom AFB: successful officer court-martial
Columbus AFB: administrative discharge appeal for NCO
Keesler AFB: several courts and boards; discharge upgrade; one VA case
Whiteman AFB: one heavily litigated court-martial, extremely light sentence
Malmstrom AFB: two AFBCMR actions, discharge upgrade
Offutt AFB. three litigated cases, two involving officers in joint command positions. One trial. Extensive use of nurse-practitioner on staff. Media coverage
Nellis AFB: Several courts and boards; one medical/ PEB board
Joint Base McGuire–Dix–Lakehurst: two in-person hearings, several corrections boards cases
Cannon AFB: [Judge Kastl was formerly Staff Judge Advocate here] one in-person court, several boards, discharge upgrade
Kirtland AFB: one hearing, one conscientious objector case
Holloman AFB: one litigated court-martial
Pope AFB: one court-martial, two administrative boards
Grand Forks AFB: two litigated courts-martial, two administrative boards
Minot AFB: one court-martial, three administrative boards, one PEB
Wright-Patterson AFB: two administrative boards. Successful discharge upgrade for E-5
Altus AFB: general court-martial, two AFBCMR actions
Tinker AFB: two administrative boards, one a medical board’ one VA case
Vance AFB: one AFBCMR action
Joint Base Charleston: two special courts, two administrative boards. Media coverage
Shaw AFB: two administrative boards, discharge upgrade
Ellsworth AFB: one court-martial
Arnold AFB: one admin hearing
Dyess AFB: one court-martial
Goodfellow AFB: two courts-martial, one of an officer involving anti-Hispanic bias; two boards
Laughlin AFB: two administrative boards, discharge upgrade
Randolph AFB — Joint Base San Antonio –Lackland AFB: numerous courts and boards, PEB hearings. Media coverage on issue of Hispanic discrimination
Sheppard AFB: one administrative board. Several PEBs
Hill AFB: one special court-martial
Joint Base Langley-Eustis: several boards, including successfully overturning an Article 15 in March 2017, bias against African-Americans
Fairchild AFB: one court-martial, officer fraternization, testimony by historian on staff regarding Air Force fraternization; extremely light sentence
Francis E. Warren AFB: two administrative boards, discharge upgrade
This blog is not about current politics. Nevertheless, we think it’s extremely important for litigators to understand the mood of the country. Why? To make the proper “pitch” to those sitting on military juries or otherwise deciding issues affecting their clients.
Where are we as a nation? Author Bill Bishop sees these factors in play:
- a precipitous decline in trust toward governments
- a similar lack of confidence in virtually all other institutions
- an international lack of trust – regardless of political history, electoral system, or style of government. In many republics, the voting public considers its current leaders highly inept and often opts for big changes
- voters feel strongly anti-government; they “vote with their feet,” spurning institutions they have supported for generations. Examples? “Rust belt” voters choosing President Trump, or the calamitous decline in mainline Protestant churches; reportedly, the six largest Protestant denominations together lost 5.6 million members [20 to 30% of their membership] between 1965 and 1990.
Another thoughtful commentator summarizes things this way:
- middle class wage stagnation
- lesser job opportunities
- and decreased opportunities for middle class social/economic advancement
Given recent election results, are progressive jurors the new minority? Author Ruy Teixerla thinks not. “There’s no going back” – the place of immigrants, minorities, gays, and women is reasonably well-settled in American society. The current administration will be unable to change this much, despite the enthusiasm of hard-core supporters. Moreover, conservatives must live with demographic changes –newer generations are more brown than white, and probably more progressive than their parents. Note the flirtation with “Bernie” and a bit of socialism.
Jettisoning Obama-era gains – such as environmental regulations – may not be easy. True enough, much can be done by Executive Order. However, everything from a clean environment to some sort of affordable health care is broadly popular. They are often supported by deeply-entrenched programs which will be hard to eradicate. Moreover, liberals can be expected to take many of these issues into the courts and voting booths. A wall with Mexico? Taxpayer Jones owns some of that land and may very well refuse to sell. Taxpayers Smith and Brown may similarly refuse. Eminent domain actions by a Trump government might end up being neither popular nor quite a “sure thing.”
Perhaps Americans can best be seen as “symbolic conservatives” who honor tradition, distrust novelty, and embrace traditional labels. Nevertheless, these same Americans might arguably be called “practical liberals” – comfortable with a Federal government supporting everything from tax reform to PBS funding to Meals on Wheels. Statistics seem to indicate that “welfare state” programs enjoy substantial public support.
Some see President Trump as a populist who ultimately will find scant common ground with the conservative Tea Party wing of the GOP. Note the recent failure to replace Obamacare. The new administration is already planning tax cuts for the well-to-do [trickle-down economics], underfunding important social programs, and implementing programs distrustful of immigrants. However, Americans likely will resist transforming America into a libertarian nation – privatizing Social Security or replacing Medicare with vouchers.
All this leads back to the advocate’s vital need to understand what is going on in politics. Jury members likely will be impacted by where they fall in the economic spectrum, in terms of both income and opportunity. In turn, that will color their view of society and the world – and likely affect how they will vote at trial.
Again, we are not advocating any particular point on the political spectrum. Rather, the intent is to encourage attorneys to know where their public stands, given our topsy-turvy politics. Advocates must understand the aspirations, and beliefs undergirding military decision makers. That know-how is crucial to effective advocacy.