For Immediate Release
January 28, 2014
DC – Bill Silverfarb (202) 225-3531 / (202) 957-4340 cell
CA – Katrina Rill (650) 342-0300 / (650) 208-7441 cell
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Susan Burke, the leading attorney-advocate against sexual assault in the military, will be the guest of Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo/Redwood City) at tonight’s State of the Union Address. Burke has represented dozens of servicewomen and men who were assaulted and then retaliated against during military judicial proceedings and is a staunch supporter of Speier’s Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention (STOP) Act, which would take sexual assault cases out the chain of command. The bipartisan-supported STOP Act has 149 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.
“The military’s abusive quasi-judicial charade has come to the forefront because of Susan Burke’s tireless work to bring justice to those sexually assaulted while serving this country,” Speier said. “The brave men and women who do serve this country do not have the same rights as their civilian counterparts and Burke has repeatedly highlighted this glaring and destructive flaw in the military justice system.”
Burke has also urged for more reforms in the military justice system and currently represents a 21-year-old female Naval Academy student who reported she was raped by three Navy football players. The victim endured 30 hours of humiliating questioning spread over a five-day period that was meant to intimidate her into dropping the case. Congresswoman Speier has highlighted the stories of 28 survivors of military sexual assault on the House floor over the past three years, many who were represented by Burke.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier is proud to represent California’s 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. She is a senior member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Armed Services Committee (HASC). In her role on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Congresswoman is a ranking member on the Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements and serves on the Subcommittee on National Security. She serves on the Readiness Subcommittee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on HASC and is a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Congresswoman Speier was appointed to serve as a Senior Whip for the Democratic caucus in the 113th Congress.