This week at SCOTUS: I’m not aware of any military justice developments at the Supreme Court, where I’m tracking one case:

This week at CAAF: CAAF will hear oral arguments in four cases this week:

Tuesday, February 19, 2019, at 9:30 a.m.

United States v. McDonald, No. 18-0308/AR (CAAFlog case page)

Issue: Whether the military judge erred in instructing the panel that a negligent mens rea was sufficient to make otherwise lawful conduct criminal.

Case Links:
ACCA opinion
Blog post: CAAF grants review
Appellant’s brief
Appelllee’s (Gov’t Div.) brief
Appellant’s reply brief
Blog post: Argument preview

Followed by:

United States v. Gleason, No. 18-0305/AR (CAAFlog case page)

Issue: Whether the Army Court erred by affirming a novel specification covered by an enumerated Art. 134, UCMJ offense.

Case Links:
ACCA opinion
Blog post: CAAF grants review
Appellant’s brief
Appelllee’s (Gov’t Div.) brief
Appellant’s reply brief
Blog post: Argument preview

Wednesday, February 20, 2019, at 9:30 a.m.

United States v. Tovarchavez, No. 18-0371/AR (CAAFlog case page)

Issue: Whether the Army Court erred, first, in finding that this Court overruled sub silencio the Supreme Court holding in Chapman v. California, 386 U.S. 18, 24 (1967), and this Court’s own holdings in United States v. Wolford, 62 M.J. 418, 420 (C.A.A.F. 2006), and in United States v. Hills, 75 M.J. 350, 357 (C.A.A.F. 2016), and, consequently, in testing for prejudice in this case using the standard for nonconstitutional error.

Case Links:
ACCA opinion
Blog post: CAAF grants review
Appellant’s brief
Appelllee’s (Gov’t Div.) brief
Appellant’s reply brief
Blog post: Argument preview

Followed by:

United States v. Voorhees, No. 18-0372/AF (CAAFlog case page)

Issues:
I. Whether the AFCCA erred in finding no plain error despite trial counsel’s argument on findings that personally attacked appellant and trial defense counsel, commented on Appellant’s silence, expressed his personal opinions, bolstered his own credibility, vouched for government witnesses, speculated, and made reference to facts not in evidence.

II. Whether the AFCCA erred in finding that the specifications alleging violations of Article 133, UCMJ, stated an offense despite the fact that they lack words of criminality or a mens rea.

III. Whether plain error occurred when the military judge failed to instruct the members that mens rea was an element of an offense under Article 133.

Case Links:
First AFCCA opinion
Second AFCCA opinion
Blog post: CAAF grants review
Appellant’s brief
Appelllee’s (Gov’t Div.) brief
Blog post: Argument preview

This week at the ACCA: The Army CCA will hear oral argument in one case this week:

Thursday, February 21, 2019, at 2 p.m.:

United States v. Pacheco, No. 20150725

Issues:
I. Whether the evidence was legally sufficient to convict appellant of child endangerment (Specification 1 of Charge II).

II. Whether the military judge erred in denying defense counsel the ability to cross-examine JP on prior specific acts of violence and present evidence of JP’s prior acts of violence through defense witnesses.

This week at the AFCCA: The Air Force CCA’s website shows no scheduled oral arguments.

This week at the CGCCA: The Coast Guard CCA’s website shows no scheduled oral arguments.

This week at the NMCCA: The next scheduled oral argument at the Navy-Marine Corps CCA is on March 1, 2019.

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