MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS: Manual for Courts-Martial: Generally

2013 (September Term)

United States v. Finch, 73 M.J. 144 (where an offense is listed in Part IV of the MCM, the maximum punishment is set forth therein; for offenses not listed in Part IV, the maximum punishment depends on whether the offense is included in or closely related to a listed offense in the MCM; where the offenses at issue were neither listed in Part IV nor included in or closely related to any offense listed in the MCM, RCM 1003(c)(1)(B)(ii) provides that such an offense not listed in Part IV and not included in or closely related to any offense is punishable as authorized by the United States Code, or as authorized by the custom of service). 

2010 (September Term)


United States v. Fosler, 70 M.J. 225 (although Congress delegated to the President certain rulemaking authority under Article 36, UCMJ, not everything in the MCM represents an exercise of that authority, and the President does not have the authority to decide questions of substantive criminal law). 

(some of the MCM is merely explanatory or hortatory; the sample specifications and drafters’ analysis are included among these categories and do not purport to be binding). 

United States v. Alston, 69 M.J. 214 (the MCM expressly notes that its listing of lesser included offenses is not all-inclusive).

2009 (September Term)

United States v. Nerad, 69 M.J. 138 (the President has well-established authority within the military justice system to clarify or give meaning to the UCMJ through promulgation of the Discussion and Analysis sections of the MCM; the Presidentís analysis of the punitive articles is persuasive, but not binding, authority; moreover, where the Presidentís narrowing construction is favorable to an accused and is not inconsistent with the language of a statute, the Presidentís narrowing construction, which is an appropriate Executive branch limitation on the conduct subject to prosecution, will not be disturbed on appeal). 


2008 (September Term)

 

United States v. Matthews, 68 M.J. 29 (it is a well established rule that principles of statutory construction are used in construing the Military Rules of Evidence; when the statuteís language is plain, the sole function of the courts - at least where the disposition required by the text is not absurd - is to enforce it according to its terms; in construing the language of a statute or rule, it is generally understood that the words should be given their common and approved usage). 

 
2008 (Transition)

United States v. Custis, 65 M.J. 366 (it is a well established rule that principles of statutory construction are used in construing the MCM in general and the MREs in particular; when the statuteís language is plain, the sole function of the courts -- at least where the disposition required by the text is not absurd -- is to enforce it according to its terms).

 

2007


United States v. Taylor
, 64 M.J. 416 (in construing the language of a rule, it is generally understood that the words should be given their common and approved usage).  

2002

United States v. Czeschin, 56 MJ 346 (the Presidentís interpretations of substantive offenses in Part IV of the Manual are not binding on the judiciary, which has the responsibility to interpret substantive offenses under the Code; however, the President may issue rules in Part IV and has the authority to grant greater rights under Part IV than might be provided by statute).

2000

United States v. Tualla, 52 MJ 228 (for purposes of interpreting the Manual, Executive acquiescence in the Courtís interpretation of a provision over an extended period of time is entitled to great weight in light of the relative ease with which the Manual can be amended).

1999

United States v. Spann, 51 MJ 89 (42 USC ß 10606 and 18 USC ß 3510(a) lack the clarity necessary to determine that the victim rights created therein superceded the limitations of MRE 615 concerning a victimís presence in the courtroom).


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