United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

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United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
(Vet. App.)
Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.svg
LocationWashington, D.C.
Appeals toFederal Circuit
Appeals from
EstablishedNovember 18, 1988
AuthorityArticle I tribunal
Created by38 U.S.C. §§ 72517299
Composition methodPresidential nomination
with Senate advice and consent
Judges7 (2 add'l temporary seats)
Judge term length15 years
Chief JudgeRobert N. Davis
www.uscourts.cavc.gov

The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (in case citations, Vet. App.) is a federal court of record that was established under Article I of the United States Constitution, and is thus referred to as an Article I tribunal (court). The court has exclusive national jurisdiction to provide independent, federal, judicial oversight and review of final decisions of the Board of Veterans' Appeals.[1]

Overview[edit]

The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is commonly referred to as the Veterans Court, USCAVC, or simply CAVC. The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims was formerly named the United States Court of Veterans Appeals, but was changed by the Veterans Programs Enhancement Act on March 1, 1999 (Pub.L. No. 105-368).[2] Opinions for the Veterans Court and other information about the Court can be found at www.uscourts.cavc.gov. The Veterans Court is located in Washington, D.C. but may sit anywhere in the United States. While the Board of Veterans' Appeals is a part of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Court is not a part of the VA, it is an independent federal court. The Veterans Court hears oral arguments and reviews final Board decisions, the record before the agency, and the briefs of the parties for each appeal.[3] Each judge on the Court serves a 15-year term.

Jurisdiction[edit]

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has "exclusive jurisdiction to review decisions of the Board of Veterans' Appeals ... [with the] power to affirm, modify, or reverse a decision of the Board [of Veterans' Appeals] or to remand the matter, as appropriate."[4]

History[edit]

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims was created on November 18, 1988, by the Veterans' Judicial Review Act of 1988.[5][6] Prior to the establishment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, from the U.S. Revolutionary War to 1988, there was no judicial recourse for veterans who were denied benefits.[7] The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, formerly titled the Veterans Administration, was the only federal administrative agency that operated without independent judicial oversight.[7] The Board of Veterans' Appeals, which is a part of the Department of Veterans Affairs, provided the final decision in a veteran's claim for benefits.

Veterans, advocacy groups, and veterans service organizations fought and urged Congress to provide judicial review of VA decisions since the 1950s. The lack of judicial review persisted, however, until the increase in veterans claims following the Vietnam War. The struggles of these veterans to obtain VA benefits highlighted the lack of independent oversight in the adjudication process. The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs initially resisted, noting that the Department of Veterans Affairs stood in "splendid isolation as the single federal administrative agency whose major functions were explicitly insulated from judicial review."[7]

After decades of debate, on November 18, 1988, Congress created the United States Court of Veterans Appeals.[5][6] On March 1, 1999, the Court's name was changed from the United States Court of Veterans Appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims through the Veterans Programs Enhancement Act (Pub.L. No. 105-368).[2]

Judges[edit]

United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in 2013

Judges are appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate, in the same manner as Article III Judges.[3] They are appointed to serve fifteen-year appointments. Retired judges are routinely recalled to active service to assist the Court in issuing its decisions in a timely manner.

On June 7, 2017 President Trump nominated the following individuals to fill vacancies on the court: Michael P. Allen, Amanda L. Meredith and Joseph L. Toth. They were all confirmed by the Senate on August 3, 2017.[8] Trump additionally nominated Joseph L. Falvey Jr. to the court on January 23, 2018. He was confirmed on April 26, 2018.[9]

The active judges are:

Judge Born Began active
service
Ended active
service
Appointed by
Robert N. Davis
Chief Judge
1953 2004 - George W. Bush
Mary J. Schoelen 1968 2004 - George W. Bush
Coral Wong Pietsch 1947 2012 - Barack Obama
Margaret Bartley 1959 2012 - Barack Obama
William S. Greenberg 1942 2012 - Barack Obama
Michael P. Allen 2017 - Donald Trump
Amanda L. Meredith 1972 2017 - Donald Trump
Joseph L. Toth 1965 2017 - Donald Trump
Joseph L. Falvey Jr. 2018 - Donald Trump

Former judges include:

Judge Began active
service
Ended active
service
Appointed by
Frank Q. Nebeker 1989 2000 George H. W. Bush
Kenneth B. Kramer 1989 2004 George H. W. Bush
Hart T. Mankin 1989 1995 George H. W. Bush
John J. Farley III 1989 2004 George H. W. Bush
Donald L. Ivers 1990 2005 George H. W. Bush
Ronald M. Holdaway 1990 2002 George H. W. Bush
Jonathan R. Steinberg 1990 2005 George H. W. Bush
William P. Greene Jr. 1997 2010 Bill Clinton
Bruce E. Kasold 2003 2016 George W. Bush
Lawrence B. Hagel 2003 2016 George W. Bush
William A. Moorman 2004 2015 George W. Bush
Alan G. Lance Sr. 2004 2017 George W. Bush

References[edit]

  1. ^ "USCAVC – United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims". Uscourts.cavc.gov. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Pub.L. 105–368, 112 Stat. 3315
  3. ^ a b "USCAVC – About the Court". Uscourts.cavc.gov. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  4. ^ "38 USC 7252 – Sec. 7252. Jurisdiction; finality of decisions – US Code – Title 38: Veterans' Benefits – Subchapter I – Organization and Jurisdiction – Id 19233752". vLex. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Pub.L. 100–687, 102 Stat. 4105
  6. ^ a b United States. Congress. House ... "Veterans' Judicial Review Act". Open Library. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c "USCAVC – History". Uscourts.cavc.gov. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  8. ^ https://www.stripes.com/news/senate-confirms-retired-colonel-as-shulkin-s-no-2-at-the-va-1.481367 . Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  9. ^ https://www.congress.gov/nomination/115th-congress/1529 . Retrieved April 27, 2018.

Further reading[edit]

Ridgway, James D. (2015). Veterans Law: Cases and Theory. American Casebook Series. West Academic. ISBN 1628103485. OCLC 921166019.

External links[edit]