There is an exciting new feature on CAAF’s web site, though at the moment it appears to be inoperable. Apparently following in the Supreme Court’s footsteps, the CAAF web site’s “Scheduled Hearings” page says, “Audio recordings of hearings normally will be available on this page the day following the hearing.” An audio link appears after the October 16 hearing link, though clicking it results in a “page cannot be found” screen. The announcement on the “Scheduled Hearings” page suggests that the link should be operable tomorrow.
The most exciting of the three cases CAAF heard today appears to be United States v. Lee, where the issue presented (rendered in what I am coming to conclude is typical Air Force appellate drab language) is: WHETHER THE MILITARY JUDGE ABUSED HIS DISCRETION WHEN HE DENIED THE DEFENSE REQUEST FOR AN EXPERT CONSULTANT IN THE FIELD OF FORENSIC COMPUTER EXAMINATION.
Tuesday’s arguments include another interesting expert assistance issue in United States v. McAllister: WHETHER APPELLANT’S RIGHT TO PRESENT HIS DEFENSE WAS VIOLATED WHEN HE WAS PREVENTED FROM EMPLOYING AND UTILIZING A NECESSARY DNA EXPERT AT HIS TRIAL AND WHETHER THAT ERROR WAS HARMLESS. McAllister’s counsel is my former Navy-Marine Corps Appellate Defense colleague David “Sid” Sheldon.
Also on Tuesday, CAAF will hear the first of three arguments this month dealing with denied member challenges. Tomorrow’s case is United States v. Clay. The issue in Clay is WHETHER THE MILITARY JUDGE ABUSED HIS DISCRETION WHEN HE DENIED THE DEFENSE CHALLENGE FOR CAUSE AGAINST COLONEL [J], A MEMBER DETAILED TO THE COURT-MARTIAL PANEL, WHO DEMONSTRATED A DRACONIAN AND INELASTIC ATTITUDE TOWARD SENTENCING.
Perhaps the questioning will give some hint as to why this particular area of the law seems to have intrigued the judges so.
Finally, CAAFlog invites anyone who attended or presented oral argument this week to note any apparent innovations as Chief Judge Effron wields the gavel.