Cummings: The Scales of Coast Guard Justice Must be Balanced

Monday, June 25, 2007
Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, responded to allegations contained in a June 24, 2007 Baltimore Sun investigative article that the practices followed in the U.S. Coast Guard's administrative court system are unfair to mariners accused of violations of law or operating procedures.

Chairman Cummings released the following statement: "As both Chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee and a lawyer, I find the accusations presented in the Baltimore Sun article deeply troubling. "I will not comment on any pending litigation. Nevertheless, as a general rule, our judicial system must assure the fair treatment that is guaranteed by our constitutional principles of due process and equal protection. “I want to be the Coast Guard's number one advocate – but I am also duty bound to hold the service to the highest professional and ethical standards, particularly in its treatment of the men and women who work on our nation's waterways.

"Secret instructions regarding defense arguments that are or are not acceptable to the court when issued while cases are pending, inappropriate contact between judges and investigators, or the withholding of potentially exculpatory evidence are all practices that are completely intolerable under broadly accepted judicial principles in this country. "In light of the seriousness of the charges raised in the Baltimore Sun's investigative report, I will work with Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN), the Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to conduct a hearing on these assertions at the earliest possible date. "The administrative law system administered by the Coast Guard – which issues rulings that can end the careers and livelihoods of our nation's merchant mariners – must be equally balanced to assure that each defendant receives an impartial and fair hearing.

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Coast Guard

USCG Cutter Rush Returns

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Rush returned to its homeport following a successful 72-day deployment in the Central and Western Pacific, Monday. Rush departed

Coast Guard Investigating Fatal Boating Collision

The Coast Guard is investigating a fatal collision between a towboat and a pleasure craft near Cincinnati, Thursday evening. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector

Coast Guard: Investigations Underway in Cutter Collision

The Coast Guard is conducting a series of formal investigations after Tuesday’s collision involving a Coast Guard cutter and a fishing vessel off the coast of Puerto Rico.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0981 sec (10 req/sec)