Supreme Court

There will be no more oral arguments this term.  The “watch” now relates to two pending decisions of importance to military justice practitioners.

The most important is when will the Supremes issue an opinion in Melendez-Diaz.  Currently the law in the military for admission of forensic reports is Harcrow (for which M-D is on point).  It is possible that the decision could also have some influence over the CAAF decision in United States v. Magyari, 63 M.J. 123 (C.A.A.F. 2006).  I can only hope.  I appreciate that I’m among the very few that believes Magyari wrongly decided because of the need to protect the military urinalysis program.  Having had a case in which Dr. Pappa of the A.F. Drug Testing Lab testified on some specific points contradictory to some of the assumptions of the Magyari opinion I’m hopeful there might be some useful language out of M-D.  Although as Chief Inspector Wilcox would say, “I’m not sanguine, not sanguine at all.”

Then there is the coram nobis case of Denedo, which will impact military writ practice and some CAAF juridisctional issues.

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