Do you remember that recurring Saturday Night Live scetch in which Mike Myers would play Linda Richman, the hostess of Coffee Talk? Here’s Wikipedia’s entry on the sketch’s format (yes, OF COURSE there is a Wikipedia entry on Coffee Talk):
Whenever Linda would get upset, she would put her hand on her chest and say “I’m all verklempt” or “I’m a little verklempt”. Then she would say, “Talk amongst yourselves.” She would often follow this with an example, by saying, “I’ll give you a topic.” The topic would usually follow the format: “(Two/three-part phrase) is neither (first part) nor (second part) nor (occasional third part). Discuss.”
“The radical reconstruction of the south after the Civil War was neither radical nor a reconstruction. Discuss.”
“The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. Discuss”.
“The peanut is neither a pea nor a nut. Discuss.”
“The Partridge Family was neither a partridge nor a family. Discuss.”
“The Prince of Tides was neither about princes nor tides. Discuss.”
“The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was neither Mormon, nor a tabernacle, nor a choir. Discuss.”
“Duran Duran was neither Duran nor Duran. Discuss.”
“The Italian Neoealist Movement in film was neither Italian nor neo nor particuarly a movement. Discuss.”
“The Progressive Era was neither progressive nor an era. Discuss.”
“The Thighmaster was neither a thigh nor a master. Discuss.”
“Rhode Island is neither a Rhode nor an island. Discuss.”
“FDR’s New Deal was neither new, nor a deal. Discuss.”
“The chickpea is neither a chick, nor a pea. Discuss.”
“Ralph Fiennes’ name is neither spelled Rayph nor Fines. Discuss.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Richman (footnotes omitted) (the footnotes in the original, by the way, link to SNL transcripts; unbelievable, baby!) (pop culture alert: the use of “baby” in the previous parenthetical refers to an even more popular Mike Myers character).
Today — a day when the various military justice web sites seem to contain nothing that is both new and interesting — we are introducing a new CAAFlog feature: CAAFlog Talk with Linda Richman.
Talk amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic. Gene is right that the four CCAs should be eliminated and CAAF should be given mandatory jurisdiction over all general and special court-martial convictions. Discuss.
My understanding is that there are 19 judges on the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. Additional military officers serve as commissioners for those judges. In this time of armed conflict when U.S. military forces are strained near the breaking point, this seems like an incredible misuse of military personnel. How many officers could be diverted to far more useful duties if the Navy-Marine Corps Court, ACCA, AFCCA, and CGCCA just went out of business, transferring all of their duties to the civilian personnel at 450 E Street, N.W.? (Okay, not many in the case of the Coast Guard Court, but a lot among the other three.)
Additionally, the whole system would move at a much faster pace. Instead of an initial appeal to the CCA, a petition to CAAF, and then briefing on the merits to CAAF, there would be just one round of briefing. CAAF’s case load would go up, but the number of SUBSTANTIVE cases that it sees would not increase appreciably. Also, the review that CAAF gives to cases coming in on petition is astounding — almost certainly at least as in depth as that which one of the Article III courts of appeals gives to cases that it summarily affirms. The amount of work that would go into a summary affirmance would not be appreciably greater than that required for a petition denial. But because the number of cases initially coming in through CAAF’s doors would be greater than the current caseload, I would provide that CAAF would sit in three-judge panels with en banc review permitted, so that the Court could iron out any differences among various panels. This would reduce the number of cases that any one judge would have to resolve and probably end up with a similar case-per-judge number as in the current system.
If cases were moved faster, appellants would receive their DD 214s more quickly, thereby further reducing DOD costs by decreasing the appellate leave population, which gobbles up some amount of military resources, particularly medical and dental assets.
Such a system would eliminate the need to devote massive resources to the tip of the tail to solve the Moreno problem. Indeed, it would save resources that could then be devoted to teeth, not tail.
One question that would have to be addressed: in a system where CAAF is the only appeal short of certiorari to the Supreme Court, should CAAF be given Article 66-type factual sufficiency and sentence appropriateness powers, or should CAAF’s review resemble that which one of the geographic courts of appeals would give to a criminal conviction from a U.S. district court?
I’m getting all verklempt just thinking about it. What is your reaction?