« News

The Feres Doctrine: What Soldiers Really Need Are Lawyers

Date Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2007

Category: Military Justice - National

Jonathan Turley discusses how military servicemembers lost legal protections as a result of a 1950 Supreme Court ruling based on several cases that were collectively referred to as the Feres Doctrine. The doctrine was named after Army Lt. Rudolph Feres, whose claim stated he died in a New York barracks fire allegedly started by an unsafe heating system. The Supreme Court's interpretations of the Federal Tort Claims Act effectively bar servicemembers from filing torts claims, even though Congress exempted only “combat-related” injuries. Mr. Turley believes: "This doctrine has done more harm to military personnel and families than any court-made doctrine in the history of this country. Congress must amend the Federal Tort Claims Act to put an end to this disastrous doctrine." He notes that other prominent Supreme Court justices and lower court justices, liberals and conservatives, have denounced the continued use of "The Feres Doctrine."

Read the full article at: Jonathan Turley Legal Blog