New Biden Executive Order Marks a Historic Change in the Handling of Military Sexual Assault

President Biden signed an executive order implementing sweeping changes to the way the military justice system handles sexual assault cases. The reform “transfers key decision-making authorities from commanders to specialized, independent military prosecutors in cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, murder, and other serious offenses.” The initiative, which consistently wins bipartisan support, is “the most significant transformation of the military justice system since … 1950,” according to the White House.

The reform effort has been led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and other survivors, advocates and members of Congress. “While it will take time to see the results of these changes,” said Gillibrand, “these measures will instill more trust, professionalism and confidence in the system.”