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Supreme Court hears oral arguments on procedural rule, military judges holding multiple offices

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases Tuesday.

Hall v. Hall questions which judgments are final under Rule 42 [materials] of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 42 refers to the consolidation of cases versus separate trials. If actions involve a common question of law or fact, sometimes courts can join a hearing or trial, consolidate the actions, or avoid unnecessary cost or delay; however, sometimes it makes sense to keep them separate for prejudice,

Dalmazzi v. United States [transcript, PDF], consolidated with two other cases, considers the effect of a rule that says military judges cannot hold multiple offices. After President Barack Obama nominated and the Senate confirmed Colonel Martin Mitchell as a judge of the US Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR), Mitchell continued to serve on the US Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA) [official websites]. The US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) rejected as moot the challenge to Mitchell's continued service on the AFCCA. The case questions whether the court of appeals erred in holding that the claims were moot, as well as whether Mitchell's service on the CMCR disqualified him from continuing to serve on the AFCCA, and if the simultaneous service on both courts was a violation of the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.

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