Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas went rogue and slammed the court’s decision to turn down hearing the case of a West Point cadet who claimed she was raped and has sued the federal government for allegedly not doing enough to prevent sexual assault.
The unnamed cadet was not allowed to sue the government because of a 1950 Supreme Court case. Members of the military cannot sue the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Though the court refused her case, Thomas wrote a blistering dissent to show his concern with overlooking the cadet’s rape allegations.
“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,” Thomas wrote.
“Nothing in the text of the Act requires this disparate treatment,” he added.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) serves as part of a coalition that has introduced a bill to improve how the armed forces address sexual assault. She has noted nearly 21,000 military members were sexually assaulted in 2018.
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
“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,” she said in a statement.