Civilians and Dependents.

In recent years, the Court re- jected the view of the drafters of the Code of Military Justice with regard to the persons Congress may constitutionally reach under its clause 14 powers. Thus, it held that an honorably discharged former soldier, charged with having committed murder during military service in Korea, could not be tried by court-martial but must be charged in federal court, if at all.1691 After first leaning the other way,1692 the Court on rehearing found court-martial jurisdiction lacking, at least in peacetime, to try civilian dependents of service personnel for capital crimes committed outside the United States.1693 Subsequently, the Court extended its ruling to civilian dependents overseas charged with noncapital crimes1694 and to civilian employees of the military charged with either capital or noncapital crimes.1695

Footnotes

1691
United States ex rel. Toth v. Quarles, 350 U.S. 11 (1955). See also Lee v. Madigan, 358 U.S. 228 (1959). [Back to text]
1692
Kinsella v. Krueger, 351 U.S. 470 (1956); Reid v. Covert, 351 U.S. 487 (1956). [Back to text]
1693
Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957) (voiding court-martial convictions of two women for murdering their soldier husbands stationed in Japan). Chief Justice Warren and Justices Black, Douglas, and Brennan were of the opinion Congress’s power under clause 14 could not reach civilians. Justices Frankfurter and Harlan concurred, limited to capital cases. Justices Clark and Burton dissented. [Back to text]
1694
Kinsella v. United States, 361 U.S. 234 (1960) (voiding court-martial conviction for noncapital crime committed overseas by civilian wife of soldier). The majority could see no reason for distinguishing between capital and noncapital crimes. Justices Harlan and Frankfurter dissented on the ground that in capital cases greater constitutional protection, available in civil courts, was required. [Back to text]
1695
Grisham v. Hagan, 361 U.S. 278 (1960); McElroy v. United States ex rel. Guagliardo, 361 U.S. 281 (1960). [Back to text]