United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims 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.
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). The Veterans Court is referred to in case citations by the designation "Vet. App." 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. Each judge on the Court serves a 15 year term.
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."
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims was created on November 18, 1988, by the Veterans' Judicial Review Act of 1988. 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. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, formerly titled the Veterans Administration, was the only federal administrative agency that operated without independent judicial oversight. 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."
After decades of debate, on November 18, 1988, Congress created the United States Court of Veterans Appeals. 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).
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. 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.
The active judges are:
|Kasold, Bruce E.Bruce E. Kasold||2003||-||George W. Bush|
|Hagel, Lawrence B.Lawrence B. Hagel
|2003||-||George W. Bush|
|Lance, Sr., Alan G.Alan G. Lance, Sr.||2004||-||George W. Bush|
|Davis, Robert N.Robert N. Davis||2004||-||George W. Bush|
|Schoelen, Mary J.Mary J. Schoelen||2004||-||George W. Bush|
|Pietsch, Coral WongCoral Wong Pietsch||2012||-||Barack Obama|
|Bartley, MargaretMargaret Bartley||2012||-||Barack Obama|
|Greenberg, William S.William S. Greenberg||2012||-||Barack Obama|
Former judges include:
|Mankin, Hart T.Hart T. Mankin||1989||1995||George H. W. Bush|
|Nebeker, Frank Q.Frank Q. Nebeker||1989||2000||George H. W. Bush|
|Holdaway, Ronald M.Ronald M. Holdaway||1990||2002||George H. W. Bush|
|Kramer, Kenneth B.Kenneth B. Kramer||1989||2004||George H. W. Bush|
|Farley, III, John J.John J. Farley, III||1989||2004||George H. W. Bush|
|Ivers, Donald L.Donald L. Ivers||1990||2005||George H. W. Bush|
|Steinberg, Jonathan R.Jonathan R. Steinberg||1990||2005||George H. W. Bush|
|Greene, Jr., William P.William P. Greene, Jr.||1997||2010||Bill Clinton|
|William A. Moorman||2004||2015||George W. Bush|
- "USCAVC - United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims". Uscourts.cavc.gov. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
- Pub.L. 105–368, 112 Stat. 3315
- "USCAVC - About the Court". Uscourts.cavc.gov. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
- "38 USC 7252 - Sec. 7252. Jurisdiction; finality of decisions - US Code - Title 38: Veterans' Benefits - Subchapter I - Organization and Jurisdiction - Id 19233752". vLex. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
- Pub.L. 100–687, 102 Stat. 4105
- United States. Congress. House ... "Veterans' Judicial Review Act". Open Library. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
- "USCAVC - History". Uscourts.cavc.gov. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
- United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims website