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United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

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]

United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
(Vet. App.)
Uscavc-gray2018.png
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

OverviewEdit

The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is commonly referred to as the Veterans Court, USCAVC, or simply CAVC. The court was previously known as the United States Court of Veterans Appeals, but was changed to the current name 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 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 briefs of the parties on appeal.[3] Each judge on the Court serves a 15-year term.

HistoryEdit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims was created on November 18, 1988, by the Veterans' Judicial Review Act of 1988.[4][5] 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.[6] The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, formerly titled the Veterans Administration, was the only federal administrative agency that operated without independent judicial oversight.[6] 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."[6]

After decades of debate, on November 18, 1988, Congress created the United States Court of Veterans Appeals.[4][5] 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]

JurisdictionEdit

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."[7]

JudgesEdit

 
U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in 2018

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.

Current Composition of the CourtEdit

As of May 2018:

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

Former judgesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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. ^ a b Pub.L. 100–687, 102 Stat. 4105
  5. ^ a b United States. Congress. House ... "Veterans' Judicial Review Act". Open Library. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c "USCAVC – History". Uscourts.cavc.gov. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  7. ^ "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.

Further readingEdit

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

External linksEdit