CAAF yesterday granted review of this issue: “WHETHER THE CHIEF JUDGE OF THE AIR FORCE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS ERRED BY REFERRING THIS CASE OVER WHICH SHE PRESIDED AS THE TRIAL JUDGE TO A SPECIAL PANEL OF THAT COURT AND NAMING THE MEMBERS OF THAT SPECIAL PANEL.” United States v. Thornton, __ M.J. __, No. 10-0179/AF (C.A.A.F. March 8, 2010).
CAAF ordered that no briefs will be filed. My guess is that means that Thornton‘s outcome will be affected by the pending case of United States v. Roach, No. 07-0870/AF.
[Disclosure: I’m an appellate defense counsel in both Thornton and Roach.]