It’s time again for our annual tradition of end-of-term number crunching.
CAAF heard oral argument in 37 cases this term and issued 37 authored opinions of the court. Summaries of each case, with links to CAAFlog case pages, are available on the September 2014 Term page.
The court also issued summary dispositions in 46 cases, including 6 cases involving the appointment of Mr. Lawrence Soybel to the Air Force CCA (see United States v. Janssen, 73 M.J. 221 (C.A.A.F. Apr. 15, 2014) (CAAFlog case page)), and 7 cases involving the brief revival of the ultimate offense doctrine at the Army CCA (see United States v. Phillips, 74 M.J. 20 (C.A.A.F. Jan. 6, 2015) (CAAFlog case page)).
Of the 37 authored opinions of the court:
Chief Judge Baker wrote 8.
Judge Ohlson wrote 8.
Judge Erdmann wrote 7.
Judge Stucky wrote 7.
Judge Ryan wrote 7.
Notably, Chief Judge Baker’s appointment to CAAF expired on July 31 and Judge Erdmann is now the Chief Judge of CAAF. However, for these stats, I will identify them as Chief Judge Baker and Judge Erdmann.
Judge Ohlson recused himself from one case this term: United States v. Newton, 74 M.J. 69 (C.A.A.F. Feb. 25, 2015) (CAAFlog case page), in which CAAF interpreted the 2008 Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (“SMART”) Guidelines promulgated by the Attorney General of the United States. Prior to joining the court Judge Ohlson worked in the Department of Justice. Senior Judge Cox participated in CAAF decision in that case in place of Judge Ohlson
The 37 authored decisions break down by service as follows:
Army: 15 (41%).
Air Force: 13 (34%).
Navy: 4 (11%).
Marine Corps: 4 (11%).
Coast Guard: 1 (3%).
Readers may recall that in the 2013 term CAAF did not hear oral argument or issue an authored opinion in any Navy cases.
The court had a less active extraordinary writ docket in the 2014 term than in the 2013 term (when it considered 23 petitions). In the 2014 term the court considered 19 petitions (12 writ-appeals, 4 habeas petitions, 1 petition for mandamus, 1 petition for relief pendente lite, and 1 petition filed under the All Writs Act and dismissed for lack of jurisdiction). It denied all of them.
Calling winners and losers can be tough, but I’m calling 20 (54%) of the term’s authored opinions as wins for the Government. Those 19 cases are: Phillips, Piren, Castillo, Newton, McFadden, Buford, Piolunek, Olson, Norman, Torres, Castillo, Carter, Ward, Katso, McIntosh, Murphy, Schloff, Arness, Akbar, and Sullivan.
Broken down by service, among authored opinions the Government won in:
8 out of 13 Air Force cases (62%)
8 out of 15 Army cases (53%)
2 out of 4 Navy cases (50%)
- 1 out of 4 Marine Corps cases (25%)
- The single Coast Guard case (100%)
Each of the judges sided with the Government as follows:
- Judge Ryan: 24 out of 37 (64%)
- Chief Judge Baker: 23 out of 37 (62%)
- Judge Stucky: 19 out of 37 (51%)
- Judge Ohlson 18 out of 36 (50%)
- Judge Erdmann 15 out of 37 (41%)
- Senior Judge Cox: 1 out of 1 (100%)