Senator blocks Air Force officer’s nomination

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Claire McCaskill

US Senator of Missouri Claire McCaskill (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Claire McCaskill says she’s going to continue to block the nomination of Air Force Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, tapped to serve as vice commander of the U.S. Space Command, over concerns with Helms’ decision to overturn a jury conviction in a sexual assault case.

McCaskill first placed a hold on the nomination in April. She met with Helms, but said her actions sent a damaging message to survivors of sexual assault.

In February 2012, Helms rejected the recommendation of legal counsel and overturned the conviction of an Air Force captain who had been found guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a female lieutenant.

McCaskill’s hold prevents the Senate from approving Helms’ nomination.

The Missouri Democrat explained her objections in a statement in the Congressional Record on Thursday.

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