In an order issued today (available here) in the Air Force case of United States v. Ortiz, No. 16-0671 (CAAFlog case page), CAAF affirms the decision of the three-judge panel of the Air Force CCA that included a Presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed judge of the Court of Military Commission Review:

On consideration of the briefs of the parties, the briefs of amici curiae, and oral argument, it is, by the Court, this 9th day of February, 2017,


That the decision of the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals is hereby affirmed. The opinion of the Court will be issued on a future date. C.A.A.F. R. 43(b). A petition for reconsideration may be filed no later than days after the date of the issuance of said opinion.

9 Responses to “CAAF affirms in Ortiz”

  1. westpointquaker says:

    As predicted by Caaflog, Caaf took the easy way out.  Clearly, the defense had the stronger argument at oral argument.  Caaf must have decided to exercise its paternalism over its precious CCAs.  Or it was simply clearing the way to put many of the Ortiz trailers with other granted issues on its oral argument schedule before the end of the term.  
    In any event, this order and judgment starts the certiorari clock for the defense.  And it must seek cert without having an opinion to contest.  Quite the disadvantage.  I’d start with the brief of the Military Commissions Defense Organization.  Good luck, defense!

  2. Zachary D Spilman says:

    Unlikely that the certiorari clock starts now but the reconsideration clock doesn’t start until the opinion is issued. Nonsensical too.

  3. RingKnocka says:

    Why the short form order and judgment?  That’s not normal, is it?

  4. Zachary D Spilman says:

    No, it’s not normal. But I suspect it’s a function of the large number of cases affected by this issue.

  5. westpointquaker says:

    Hate to differ with Caaflog, but by Supreme Court Rule 13, the certiorari clock starts at the entry of judgment.  So with the entry of the Ortiz “ORDER AND JUDGMENT,” the 90 day clock is ticking.  SCT R. 13 provides:  “Unless otherwise provided by law, a petition for a writ of certiorari to review a judgment in any case, civil or criminal, entered by a state court of last resort or a United States court of appeals (including the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces) is timely when it is filed with the Clerk of this Court within 90 days after entry of the judgment.” 

  6. Tailhookin' says:

    Must appellant complete any more procedural steps (motion to reconsider?) at CAAF before filing a cert petition?  If so, this seems to put the appellant in this case in a bit of a pickle.

  7. JustAnotherADC says:

    I think westpointquaker is right, and his interpretation is bolstered by CAAF Rule 43(b):
    If a judgment is rendered without an opinion, the Clerk shall prepare, sign, date and enter such judgment in an order following instruction from the Court. Notation of such order in the docket constitutes entry of the judgment and the effective date of the judgment is the date of that order.

  8. John O'Connor says:

    Agree with those who expressed the opinion that the certiorari clock started yesterday.  Realistically, a party can always get a 30-day extension on the certiorari due date by asking SCOTUS for one.  To answer Tailhookin’, the accused need not seek reconsideration before seeking certiorari.  And if you seek reconsideration, that does not toll the time for seeking cert.

  9. Dew_Process says:

    While the SCOTUS clock is ticking, the Court generally grants extensions for filing a cert petition for “good cause” and not having an opinion to work from, would seem to qualify based upon past practices.  Alternatively, Ortiz could move CAAF to withdraw its “judgment” pending the release of its opinion to stop the clock temporarily for the reasons noted on this thread.