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A unique but largely neglected part of the American legal system, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Services marks its fiftieth anniversary in 2001. In Military Justice in America, Jonathan Lurie chronicles the struggles leading to the Court's creation, as well as its subsequent efforts to fulfill a difficult and sometimes controversial mission. Illuminating and fairminded, Lurie's work provides a new and valuable perspective on the uneasy relations between civil and military authority.
Both comprehensive and detailed, Military Justice in America explores the history of the Court, which finally emerged in the wake of the national debates over the confrontation between civilian commitment to due process and individual rights and the military's demand for discipline. Deftly summarizing the Court's prehistory, Lurie then examines the Court's performance during its early years, amidst a growing civil rights movement and an increasingly unpopular war in Vietnam. He also shows how the Court matured as an institution, with its own procedures and personality, and analyzes its stormy relationship with the office of the Judge Advocate General. Along the way, he gives due attention to civilian control of the military, the essential differences between civilian and military jurisprudence, the ongoing interplay between law and politics.
Drawing on a wide range of manuscript collections, court files, and personal interviews, Lurie's work also critically assesses the Court's overall effectiveness. In particular, Lurie looks closely at the Court's efforts to maintain its independence, to insulate the courts-martial process from improper influence, and to fashion a just jurisprudence based on the Bill of Rights. He argues that, despite its undeniable achievements, the Court's performance has not lived up to its full potential and, further, has been seriously compromised by its continued accountability to the Senate Armed Services Committee. In the end, however, he points to the Court as an essential example (and reminder) of how, in our democracy, even the military must, in theory at least, answer to civilian authority.
Military Justice in America substantially abridges and revises two previous and heavily annotated volumes—Arming Military Justice and Pursuing Military Justice—originally commissioned by the Court for a much more limited readership. This new one-volume paperback edition has been prepared with a considerably wider readership in mind. Much more accessible and affordable than its predecessors, it will be especially appealing for anyone interested in American law, military history, and civil-military history.
1. Military and Civilian "Review" to 1815
2. Military and Civilian "Review" to 1900
3. The Ansell-Crowder Controversy, 1917-1918: Round I
4. The Ansell-Crowder Controversy, 1918-1919: Round II
5. The Ansell-Crowder Controversy, 1919-1920: The Outcome
6. Renewed Calls for Reforming Military Justice, 1943-1948
7. Forrestal Creates Two Committees, 1948
8. The Committee, the Code, and the Court, 1948-1949
9. Congress the Code, and the Court, 1948-1949
10. Congress, the Code, and the Court, 1949
11. Creation of the Court, 1949-1950
12. Journeys to the Judgeships, 1950-1951
13. Initial Court Organization and Operation, 1951-1955
14. The Court Commences, 1951-1955
15. Judges Versus JAGS, 1951-1955
16. New Judges, Old Issues, Same Forum, 1955-1956
17. Jurists Disagree, Congress Delays, and Judge Departs, 1957-1961
18. Assessing Military Justice, Attempting Life Tenure, Attaining Reappointment, 1961-1966
19. Litigation, Legislation, and Longevity for Quinn, 1965-1968
20. Disagreements, Departures, and Decisions, 1969-1975
21. Conclusion, Confrontation, and Culmination, 1975-1980, Part I
22. Conflicts and Culmination Concluded, 1975-1980, Part II