The Supreme Court had the opportunity to take on a landmark rape case, but it has declined to do so.
The decision was unanimous save one justice, Justice Clarence Thomas.
Thomas, in turn, issued a scathing defense in calling out what many perceive to be a wrong that should have been long ago corrected.
Take the Case
Currently, women in the military who are raped are not entitled to sue the government due to a precedent that was set roughly 70 years ago.
The majority used a 1950 precedent to decline “Jane Doe” her right to sue the government as a military member who had been raped.
The precedent cited the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Eight of the nine justices agreed with the precedent, but Thomas did not and wrote the dissent for the case.
Thomas took the approach that the precedent was only a small part of the picture and clearly did not reflect sexual assault cases taking place at a military academy.
Thomas maintains that the precedent set in the Feres v. United States was wrong, period.
He stated, “Under our precedent, if two Pentagon employees— one civilian and one a servicemember—are hit by a bus in the Pentagon parking lot and sue, it may be that only the civilian would have a chance to litigate his claim on the merits.
“Nothing in the text of the Act requires this disparate treatment.”
Thomas continued, “Perhaps the Court is hesitant to take up this issue at all because it would require fiddling with a 70-year-old precedent that is demonstrably wrong.
“But if the Feres doctrine is so wrong that we cannot figure out how to rein it in, then the better answer is to bid it farewell.”
The problem has gotten so bad, in fact, that a bipartisan cast of all-star Senators has backed legislation to address the issue.
Among those supporting a change in how the military addresses these cases are Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Chuck Grassley (R-IW), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
Gillibrand stated, “Sexual assault in our military is an epidemic and it’s clear that the current system is not working for survivors.
“Despite repeated efforts to protect our women and men in uniform rates of harassment and assault continue to rise while prosecutions decline.”
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IO), a combat commander and a victim of sexual assault, also made a statement on the matter…
Sexual assault has no place in our military—or anywhere else—and it’s far past time we take more steps toward preventing and reducing these heart-wrenching crimes.
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) April 29, 2021
I cannot help but think of the movie “The General’s Daughter” as an example of the lengths to which the military will go to cover up sexual assault cases.
This is clearly a problem that must be dealt with and since the court is kicking the can down the road, it will now be up to our legislators to get it right.
Source: Fox News