Only since 1983 has the Supreme Court had statutory cert jurisdiction over CMA/CAAF decisions. And since then, the Supremes have granted plenary review in just nine cases. The last three (Denedo, Clinton v. Goldsmith, and Scheffer) were all cases in which the SG sought cert. (And those are the only three instances in which the SG has sought a writ of certiorari to CMA/CAAF.) Not since 8 November 1996 — 14 years ago — has the Supreme Court granted plenary review upon a servicemember’s petition for a writ of certiorari to CAAF. Edmond v. United States, 519 U.S. 977 (1996). (There have been some other instances in which the Supreme Court granted a military cert petition, vacated CMA’s/CAAF’s ruling, and remanded the case for further consideration in light of a newly announced SCOTUS opinion.)
The case that stands the greatest chance of breaking that 14-year losing streak is Smith v. United States, No. 10-18 — a cert petition boosted by both a pronounced circuit split and an all-star roster of counsel. Those all stars have now filed their reply to the Solicitor General’s brief in opposition. The reply is available here. We’ll let you know as soon as we learn which conference the petition is distributed for. And the Kabul Klipper will be putting bubble wrap on his shopping list.