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Just as the title of the judge advocate is in itself significant in this connection ,
so is the title of the bureau thus createdthe Bureau of Military Justice .
It will be . noticed that this act preserves all the requirements of the act of
July 17, 1862, supra, concerning the duty of the Judge Advocate General i n
the matter of revising the records of general courts-martial, and keeping a
record of " all proceedings had thereupon," meaning, of course, proceeding s
upon such records in revision . And at the close of the war, in the legislatio n
looking to the peace establishment, Congress enacted the act of July 28, 186 6
(14 Stat ., 334), the same being "An act to increase and fix the military peace
establishment of the United States," in section 12 whereof it was provided
" That the Bureau of Military Justice shall hereafter consist of one Judg e
Advocate General with the rank, pay, and emoluments of a brigadier general ,
and one Assistant Jude Advocate General with the rank, pay, and emolu-
ments of a colonel of cavalry ; and the said Judge Advocate General shall re-
ceive, revise, and have recorded the proceedings of all courts-martial, court s
of inquiry, and military couunissions, and shall perform such other duties
as have been heretofore performed by the Judge Advocate General of th e
Army * * * . "
This act does not change the duties of the Judge Advocate General with
reference to the revision of records of courts-martial . It omits the phras e
found in the two acts immediately preceding to the effect that " a recor d
shall be kept of all proceedings had thereupon," but introduces for the firs t
time the direction that in addition to revising and recording the proceeding s
of all courts-martial the Judge Advocate General shall "perform such other
duties as have been performed heretofore by the Judge Advocate General of
the Army ." It will be observed that this last cited expression, as carried into
section 1199 of the Revised Statutes as quoted above, still remains the la w
on the subject . In referring to the duties "heretofore performed by the
Judge Advocate General of the Army," the statute included, inter alia, the
duties prescribed by the statute, for the presumption is that the duties thu s
prescribed were in fact performed . It follows that included within this direc-
tion is the mandate that a record be kept of all proceedings had in the revisio n
of courts-martial proceedings in the office of the Judge Advocate General, an d
the force of this mandate must be added to the ordinary meaning of the wor d
" revise " in determining the scope of the duties of the Judge Advocate Genera l
as now defined by law .
7. The legislative history of all the antecedent acts, brought forward as 1199 ,
Revised Statutes, shows that the word " revise " has the meaning here indicated .
As to the act of 1862 . see Congressional Globe, part 4, second session, Seven-
teenth Congress. pages 3320 . 3321 . This was especially true of the debate s
upon the act of 1866, of which there was considerable, owing to the objectio n
taken to the legislative recognition contained in- that bill of military com-
missions . An effort was made to strike out and otherwise defeat the entir e
provision for a bureau of military justice during peace, and the stronges t
argument made in support of its retention was found in the fact that it had,
and had freely and satisfactorily exercised this revisory power . The whole
tenor of the debate clearly shows what Congress understood had been th e
revisory power of the Judge Advocate General of the Army since the act o f
1862. It is said by one Senator (Mr . Lane of Indiana) :
"It is utterly impossible for the President in the multiplicity of his dutie s
to look into all these cases ; it is physically impossible for the Secretary of
War to do so ; and to facilitate the administration of criminal justice i t
was found necessary to establish this bureau . "
And another Senator (Mr . Hendricks) said : -
" I am not prepared to vote to abolish the court of military justice . If that
court be properly constituted and discharges its duties legitimately withi n
its jurisdiction as the court was organized under the act of two or thre e
years ago, it will be a blessing, and I will not vote to abolish the court becaus e
ofsuch wrong decisions that it may have made . "
And further on the same Senator referred to the case 'of one officer i n
whom he was interested in which there had been an erroneous conviction ,
and said in that connection :
" I went with him to see the Judge Advocate General. The case was calle d
up before the Judge Advocate General and reviewed, and at once he decided tha t
the testimony was not sufficient, and restored the young man to his positio n
in the Army ."