With a vote on the issue pending in the Senate, 59 percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll favor the proposed change. Thirty-six percent instead prefer to keep authority over sexual assault cases within the usual channels.At a press conference Tuesday morning, a group of senators released a letter of support from 26 retired generals, admirals, commanders, colonels, captains and senior enlisted personnel, and:
Support for the change includes equal numbers of women and men, albeit more married women than single women, 65 vs. 53 percent. It’s backed across the political spectrum, but by more Democrats and independents (about six in 10 in both cases), than Republicans (53 percent).
“As a former commander, endorsing a change that removes certain authority from military commanders has been a tough decision,” said Major General (Ret.) Martha Rainville. “It was driven by my conviction that our men and women in uniform deserve to know, without doubt, that they are valued and will be treated fairly with all due process should they report an offense and seek help, or face being accused of an offense. When allegations of serious criminal misconduct have been made, the decision whether to prosecute should be made by a trained legal professional. Fairness and justice require sound judgment based on evidence and facts, independent of pre-existing command relationships.”Tell Congress to protect victims of military sexual assault by supporting the Military Justice Improvement Act.
11:54 AM PT: Definitely momentum—the plan picks up another, rather important, Senate supporter: