Senator targets military law over sexual assault

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand helped forced the military to allow gays in its ranks. Now she's working to upend the way the armed services handle an epidemic of sexual assaults.
   
The tenacious New York Democrat just may prevail.
   
Gillibrand is challenging the Pentagon's top brass - and some of the Senate's more authoritative voices. Gillibrand wants to strip commanders of authority to decide whether to prosecute sexual assault cases and give the authority to seasoned military lawyers.
   
But the military says commanders should maintain their right to ensure good order.
   
Gillibrand's effort has deeply divided the Senate and will come to a showdown later this summer when lawmakers consider a defense policy bill.

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