Sen. Rand Paul this morning joined Sens. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol to discuss the Military Justice Improvement Act, to combat sexual assault in the military.
I try not to look at issues from a partisan point of view. I'm sure I do sometimes, but I try not to. As a physician, I look at problems and try to find solutions.
I'm concerned about justice and I want it to occur in the military for victims as well as for those who are potentially accused. Justice is very important to me. Both justice for the accused and for the victim. I am concerned that victims of assault may be deterred from reporting assault if they have to report it to their boss.
I am also concerned about interposing too many lawyers into military life and having lawyers get in the way of the military mission. The vast majority of our soldiers are honorable and upstanding individuals. We're talking about a very small percentage but if they commit crimes, they should be punished. In finding justice for victims, we must make sure that we have due process for all.
Some say we have no bipartisan cooperation around here. I disagree. I think this is a great example of how people from both sides come together to work on a problem and look honestly at what a problem is. So when I heard about this, my first impression was a positive one. As I looked at the bill, Senator Gillibrand came by to talk to me about it and I thought there were one or two things that were included in this that we should exclude. She was very open to the discussion and it makes my support even stronger for this.
There were a couple of things that were removed that weren't sexual assault, that weren't murder, these were disobeying orders and some other things and we said you know what we will keep that in the line of command. We want to keep serious crimes, murder, rape, sexual assault in here. And I think it's made the bill even stronger. I always thought the motive for the bill was good but now I think the bill is even stronger and I see no reason why conservatives shouldn't support this.
The only thing I think standing in the way is just sort of the status quo. Senator Boxer was right. Everyone says they are against sexual assault, and if it appears that there is some sort of deterrence from victims reporting the crime, why don't we fix it? I don't see why we wouldn't fix it and I am happy to be a part of the process.