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Mr. Riley. The committee will come to order.
Judge Quinn, we are glad to have you before the committee today, sir.
Judge Quinn. Thank you, Congressman.
GENERAL STATEMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE QUINN Judge QUINN. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am glad to appear before you to submit for your consideration the appropriation request of the U.S. Court of Military Appeals for fiscal year 1962. The court will be 10 years old in June.
Most of you will recall that 10 years ago Congress enacted the Uniform Code of Military Justice. By this legislation the system of courts-martial established by the Articles of War, the Articles for the Government of the Navy, and the disciplinary laws of the Coast Guard, for all practical purposes, was terminated. In its stead Congress created a new system designed to parallel the Federal courts. To provide the tone and the direction for this system, the U.S. Court of Military Appeals, consisting of three judges appointed from civilian life, was established. From the outset, we have tried to discharge our duties with the intent of the Congress clearly in mind.
Through fiscal year 1960, a total of 1,594 opinions were written and published, and the 87 opinions published so far in fiscal year 1961 bring our total to 1,681. These opinions are published in 11 volumes of the reports of the U.S. Court of Military Appeals. With decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court and of the Federal courts of appeals as our principal guides, we have sought to perfect the system of justice contemplated by the uniform code. Neither time nor this occasion permit a thorough analysis of these holdings. However, we can call attention to the fact that many of the principal areas of congressional concern about courts-martial, which existed during World War II, have now been erased.
Approximately 8,700 attorneys have been admitted to practice before the court. Every major law review of this country has published articles on various aspects of the law governing courts-martial. The newspaper syndicates report regularly the opinions of the court, and, depending on the subject matter, give many of them nationwide circulation. The judges appear frequently before bar associations and other civic organizations throughout the country, advising the civilian community of developments in the field of military justice, and instilling confidence in its administration. Finally, the court's opinions are cited with increasing frequency by courts of appeals of Federal and State jurisdictions.
Room for improvement there will always be. Our current report to the Congress in compliance with article 67(g) of the code refers to these areas and advances our recommendations for modifications which will preserve the basic purpose of the code, while assuring increased efficacy. Principally, these recommendations seek to strengthen the position of the law officer, assure the independence of boards of review, and clarify the status of the U.S. Court of Military Appeals. We hope the members of this committee will give these matters attention and support.
For the record, I wish to submit the attached statistical report on the number, status, and disposition of all cases docketed with the court through December 31, 1960.
Mr. Riley. Without objection, the report will be placed in the record at this point.
(The matter referred to follows:)
Article 67(b) (1), UCMJ
3 Air Force
2 Coast Guard -1 Discrepancy in total due to some cases coming up both on petitions and certificates, petitioned or certified twice, and 5 mandatory cases filed as petitions after 2d board of review opinion.
2 32 cases involving 37 accused sentenced to death; 2 additional cases involving 2 flag officers ; 2 cases filed twice.
* 14, 513
1, 497 12, 618
2 10 303
3 46 16
2 24 289 40
1 36 1 1 1
3 132 1. 674
19 Set for hearing-
8 Ready for hearing
1 Petitions granted-awaiting briefs.-
7 Petitions—court action due 30 days..
46 Petitions-awaiting replies.
16 Certificates—awaiting briefs.
2 8 Discrepancy of 159 in total is due to more than 1 action taken on individual cases. * 2 opinions released in docket 8176. 52 opinions released in docket 6388. * 1,674 cases were disposed of by 1,657 opinions (68 cases remanded by order).
Mr. Riley. Thank you very much, Judge Quinn.
We will insert in the record at this point pages 6 and 7 of the justifications.
(The pages referred to follow :)
At the end of fiscal year 1960 a total of 14,235 cases had been docketed with the Court of Military Appeals, for an average of 1,582 cases per year since the court's establishment in 1951.
As of December 31, 1960, the court had rendered 1,657 written major opinions, the first having been released on November 8, 1951. This total averages an annual output of 173 written opinions, with each judge of the three-member court contributing an average of 58 major opinions annually.
This substantial opinion workload has been carried on in addition to the review functions which the court must perform under article 67 (b) (3) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, wherein the judges ave considered and passed upon an average of 1,528 petitions for grant of review per year since its organization.
Mr. RILEY. Judge Quinn, the detail of your request shows an increase of $2,000 for travel. Would you comment on just what travel is contemplated and for what purpose !
Judge Quinn. Each of the judges has gone out to the European Commands and Judge Ferguson went out to Japan last year as well as to Hawaii and to Alaska.
We have attempted in the last 4 or 5 years, Mr. Chairman, to get around to as many of our major commands as possible in order to talk not only to the officers in the Judge Advocate General's department, but to our commanding officers and to our enlisted men in order to determine what in their opinion we can do to improve the system of military justice and to find out what complaints, if any, they might have had to make.
REASONS FOR INCREASES
Mr. Riley. I note that in 1960 you returned to the Treasury some $24,000 out of your appropriation of $425,000 and in 1961, apparently, you were able to absorb the increase in salaries which was voted by Congress.
Judge Quinn. Yes, sir.
Mr. RILEY. In view of your economical operations for those 2 years. would you explain to the committee why $20,000 more is necessary this year?
Mr. WYLIE. May I answer that question, Mr. Riley?
Mr. WYLIE. You will note that the average employment in the court has been running about 38 or 39 people. We have an authorization in the appropriation for 41 personnel. Therefore, actually, there is a net increase of $15,000 in personnel compensation and personnel benefits to provide for a full strength in fiscal year 1962. We have 40 man-years of employment in lieu of 38, which we anticipate in 1960 and 1961. The increase over 1960 is due to the pay increase.
We have the increase in travel and transportation and then some minor increases in printing and reproduction, supplies and materials and equipment, normally due to the general increase in prices and costs. However, the $20,000 is attributable primarily to the increase in the man-years of employment in 1962 as compared with 1960 and 1961.
Mr. RILEY. The total request is $445,000?
Mr. SIKES. Judge, you do not have much of a backlog of cases. Apparently, you are staying pretty well current. Am I misreading your tables in that regard ?
Judge Quinn. We are practically current, Congressman. Every case that is ready to be heard has been heard and every opinion will be published by the end of this month that involves cases heard in February. We are absolutely square with the board. Of course, the petitions are coming in all the time, but we are completely current.
Mr. Sıkes. You are the only court I know of that is. How do you achieve that pleasant status?
Judge Quinn. Well, of course, our volume is off, Congressman. from what it was 3 or 4 years ago. In 1957 we wrote 309 opinions, which for a three-man court was almost a superhuman job, but this year we will probably write 150 opinions which for a three-man court is a fairly good-sized job. I think the average judge of a supreme court of each of the States writes about 17 opinions each. Therefore, we still have a large volume, but we work at it and while, undoubtedly, there are very, very many Federal judges on the courts of