Bill to Protect Service Members Gathers Powerful Critics

There is a bill currently circling Washington D.C. which is at the center of a heated battle. This comes as Rep. Mike Turner sponsors a bill seen by many to be highly controversial, which has passed the House.

This bill, which many are seeing as another in a long string of controversial bills introduced by Turner, focuses on military deployments, and how they are often used against service members in child custody hearings.

The bill passed the Housed with a staggering 390-2 vote, despite the extensive list of critics it has gathered. Many well-known groups, such as the National Military Family Association, the American Bar Association, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and a large group of family attorneys around the country are all opposed to the bill being signed into law.

Turner has been on a well-known public crusade to form an entirely new layer of protection at the federal level for deployed service members, as he feels their child custody rights are often infringed upon. Turner said “service members should not have to worry while they’re deployed, or facing a future deployment, that their country might cost them the custody of their children.”

Many agree emphatically with his statement, but just as emphatically disagree with his methods. Critics are quick to point out that this new bill will create a right of federal court review in every single military custody case, which would significantly increase legal costs for all involved, as well as forcing judges with no prior family law experience to pass judgment on an issue as complex as child custody.

It remains to be seen what will happen with this bill, as it passes through other legislative branches, but the armies are amassing on both sides of the fence.

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