United States v. Augenblick

PETITIONER: United States
RESPONDENT: Augenblick
LOCATION: United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1967-1969)

CITATION: 393 US 348 (1969)
ARGUED: Nov 21, 1968
DECIDED: Jan 14, 1969

Facts of the case


Media for United States v. Augenblick

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 21, 1968 in United States v. Augenblick

Earl Warren:

Number 45, United States Petitioner versus Richard G. Augenblick et al.

We will wait for a moment until it gets quiet.

Now Mr. Weisl you may proceed with your argument.

Edwin L. Weisl, Jr.:

Thank you Mr. Chief Justice and May it please the court.

These are two cases here on writs of certiorari to the United States Court of Claims.

In each of them, the United States seeks reversal of judgments of that court granting back pay to former servicemen, each of whom had been discharged from the service pursuant to judgments of conviction of court-martials.

In each of these cases, the United States urges that the Court of Claims lacks power to an effect constitute itself an additional appellate tribunal to review courts-martial for errors of law and therefore their judgment should be reversed.

Beyond the common question of law, neither of these cases has anything in common.

In Augenblick, we have a conviction of a naval officer for an indecent -- commission of an indecent lewd and lascivious act and Juhl, the conviction for black market activities.

In Augenblick, the Court of Claims in effect reversed the court-martial conviction and granted back pay because of a purported Jencks Act question.

In Juhl, the court of claims purported to reverse a court-martial conviction and award back pay, because of a question of a conviction of Juhl's on what the Court of Claims said was self-contradictory, uncorroborated, accomplice testimony.

In other words, a mere evidentiary question.

The United States says of the Court of Claims lacks to power to do this.

That the finality provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice providing for review of courts-martial ultimately by the Court of Military Appeals bars the Court of Claims from reviewing once again these judgments of conviction for factual Jencks Act questions and the like.

But that even if this Court finds that the Court of Claims has some measure of power to review courts-martial, no matter whether that power be broader or narrow, the Court of Claims was in error here.

Augenblick --

Does the Court of Claims judgment in the United jurisdiction reinstate this man?

Edwin L. Weisl, Jr.:

No sir, I believe their only power is to reward back pay, but I think that clearly the effect is to reverse the conviction.

I'm not certain whether or not a board for the review of records, military records would then reinstate the man and wipeout the conviction utterly.

I certainly think -–

Potter Stewart:

How would he go about, he was dismissed of course from the service?

Edwin L. Weisl, Jr.:

They were both dismissed yes sir.

Potter Stewart:

How would they go about after the Court of Claims decisions if they stand are getting reinstated?

Edwin L. Weisl, Jr.:

I believe that each service now has a board for the correction of records and they would apply to that board citing the decision of the Court of Claims.

Potter Stewart:

You don't know whether that's happened or neither.

Edwin L. Weisl, Jr.:

I do not sir and I really do not know whether this is ground.

Potter Stewart:

Incidentally, the Court of Military Appeals denied review in the Augenblick case, but it was in effort to get in Juhl a review of the court --

Edwin L. Weisl, Jr.:

Juhl was not entitled to such review, because this conviction was for less then six months or was for six months.

Potter Stewart:

And the jurisdiction in the Court of Military Appeals is completely discretionary.

Edwin L. Weisl, Jr.:

It is discretionary except -- first of all, it can only review convictions in which sentences of a year or more then awarded.