After hours of debate, the Senate failed to vote yesterday on the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA). Introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), MJIA would move the decision of whether to prosecute sexual assault cases out of the chain-of-command and give it to independent, objective, trained military prosecutors.

Six in ten Americans support letting independent prosecutors decide whether to prosecute sexual assault cases in the U.S. military, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll. Support is equally divided between men and women, and majorities of Republicans and Democrats also support taking sexual assault cases outside the chain of command. The Feminist Majority urged the Senate to take up MJIA last week.

MJIA would amend the National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA), but Senate Republicans – using the filibuster – blocked MJIA from coming to a vote on the floor yesterday. There was also no vote on NDAA. The Senate then headed into a two-week recess.

Media Resources: ABC News 11/19/13

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Carmen Rios

Carmen splits her time disparately between feminist rabble-rousing, writing, public speaking, and flower-picking. She is currently Communications Coordinator at the Feminist Majority Foundation, the Straddleverse and Feminism Editor at Autostraddle, and a writer with FORCE. Carmen is a SPARK alum and former Managing Editor of THE LINE Campaign blog. She's part of an oncoming anthology about girls' activism.