I’m very sad to report that Judge Robinson O. Everett passed away today. He was 81. His biography is available here. Judge Everett was a great man, a great jurist, and a great educator. He made a huge contribution to military justice throughout his long legal career. His service as Chief Judge of the Court of Military Appeals elevated the court’s stature immeasurably. He also greatly influenced the development of the UCMJ when he served as a counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights under the direction of Senator Sam Ervin. Judge Everett’s work with the committee led to the passage of the Military Justice Act of 1968, which created the position of military judge and elevated the status of the Boards of Review to true courts. Probably no one in history has done more to influence the military’s judiciary than Judge Everett.
I had the opportunity to meet him when I was a law student and was amazed by how gracious he was and how willing he was to spend time and share insights with a lowly Marine Corps lieutenant/law student. Over the years, I came to see that such graciousness was the hallmark of his interaction with everyone he encountered. His passing creates an unfillable void in the military justice community and in the hearts of all those who knew him.