2016 (October Term)
United States v. Wilson, 76 M.J. 4 (the President has the power to prescribe regulations for trial procedures, including modes of proof, for cases arising under the UCMJ; however, this power does not extend to Part IV of the MCM, and an appellate court is not bound by the President’s interpretation of the elements of substantive offenses; still, when the President’s narrowing construction of a statute does not contradict the express language of a statute, it is entitled to some deference, and an appellate court will not normally disturb that construction).
2015 (September Term)
United States v. Busch, 75 M.J. 87 (where there is no punishment listed for an offense in Part IV of the MCM, RCM 1003(c)(1)(B) establishes the procedures for determining the appropriate maximum sentence).
2014 (September Term)
United States v. Akbar, 74 M.J. 364 (Article 36, UCMJ, which authorizes the President to prescribe pretrial, trial, and post-trial procedures, does not require the President to prescribe procedures for the military death penalty that are similar to those provisions in the US Attorneys’ Manual which set forth policies and procedures for federal civilian capital cases).
United States v. Murphy, 74 M.J. 302 (the MCM prescribes an increased maximum punishment for larceny of an explosive, irrespective of value).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
1999United 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).