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Military Veterans Without Rights

This is Judge Marian Blank Horn of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Everyone associated with #MeToo and #MeTooMilitary should know who she is. She is no friend of military sexual assault and harassment survivors.

In this You Tube video entitled “Family Remembrences”, Judge Horn was speaking for a group known as “Lawyers Without Rights”. She recounted a story about her father, who was a Jew in WWII Nazi Germany, whose livelihood as a lawyer was terminated because of his ethnicity. She lamented about this injustice, yet ironically, that concern never translated to the injustices suffered daily by military members and veterans, who apparently don’t deserve the same consideration. At least not by her.

My case was only one of dozens of lawsuits filed by military veterans in various U.S. federal courts whose livelihoods were unjustly terminated by abuses of military authority. Judge Horn refused to independently review the facts of my case against the US Navy, involving wrongful termination, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation by seniors for reporting numerous wrongs that no one in the navy chain of command tried to correct or properly investigate. Her decision deferred to “military authority” instead, dismissing the case without depositions, a hearing or trial. I never physically appeared in her court, she never saw me. I was nothing but another stack of papers to her.

The details of my case can be found in Collins v. United States, filed with the US Court of Federal Claims in 1987, Case No 521-87C. Also, my initial post on this site recounts what happened in my own words. This case sat with the court for 4 years, with oral arguments heard in 1988. A decision was issued in 1991. Her condescending tone was consistent with the navy’s biased position, designed to destroy my character and job performance after 10 years of honorable service as an officer with numerous security clearances. Her decision displayed total ignorance and an elitist indifference to military service and culture, which has resulted in an astounding increase of sexual assaults, harassment and retaliation for reporting. I filed an appeal soon after, and that court affirmed the Claims Court decision a year later without explanation. Appeals courts, however, do not review the facts of the case, but rather consider only alleged errors in application of the law. I’m no lawyer, but among other issues, Horn bought the Navy’s argument that I needed to show “clear and convincing evidence” when a “preponderance of evidence” (a lower standard) is all that should be necessary to move forward. My substantial evidence was ignored, and Horn didn’t know how to interpret it anyway because she didn’t understand what she was looking at.

So rather than admit ignorance, it was easier to get rid of the case by summary judgment without trying to understand any of it. And that goes for the appeals court judges as well. At least I was able to have standing to sue, because my cause of action was civil. The Feres Doctrine prevents military members and veterans from having standing to sue if the cause of action is criminal, such as sexual assault and rape. Needless to say, I am totally in favor of removing the Feres Doctrine. But that still doesn’t solve of problem of elitism in the courts. So veterans, when it comes to YOUR rights, just remember, nobody gives a damn, especially in the federal court system. Expect to be slandered and defamed with no recourse.

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