Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's bill to put military sexual assault prosecutions in the hands of prosecutors, not military commanders with incentives against prosecution, will likely face a 60-vote requirement in the Senate. But Gillibrand believes 60 votes are possible:
"Oh no, we will have the votes," Gillibrand told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. "We are going to get to 60 votes. And we are very close already -- we just need a few more votes, and I think we'll get them over the next week." [...]

There are currently 47 senators on record supporting Gillibrand's bill and about 30 who have not publicly decided either way. She has the full-throated support of some unexpected Republicans, including tea party Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Some other key players, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), have not declared their intentions.

Opposition to Gillibrand's bill is coming from Democrats like Carl Levin and Claire McCaskill as well as Republicans like Lindsey Graham, who has said he'll filibuster it (along with everything else, apparently). Why is the bill necessary? As Ben Klay, a veteran himself and a man whose wife was raped and then retaliated against during her time in the Marines, put it:
Military justice is a secondary duty for a commander. Something he didn't sign up for and a distraction from his mission to fight wars. Imagine a business executive who runs a company and has to oversee the prosecution of felons who perform valuable work for him. He'd be as interested in prosecuting as commanders are, and his workers would be confident about what they could get away with.

Tell Congress: Protect victims of military sexual assault.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 12:41 PM PST.

Also republished by Military Community Members of Daily Kos and Daily Kos.

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