Veteranclaims’s Blog

August 13, 2009

9th Circuit Delays Decision in VA Claim Delays Case

Chief 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski said the panel will delay taking the case under consideration for one week in order to give the attorneys a chance to seek mediation or a settlement.

The two veterans’ groups [Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth] claim that lengthy delays by the VA in providing care for vets suffering combat stress, including those who are suicidal, violate the Constitution and federal law.

“Kozinski said he questioned the power of courts to tell federal agencies how to do their jobs.

“I’m just skeptical of where we get the authority to do that,” the judge said. “How do we go about telling an agency ‘you’ve got to work faster?'”

But another judge on the panel, Stephen Reinhardt, said courts sometimes have to step in when government agencies fail in their duties.

Reinhardt, who recently served on a different panel that ordered a reduction in the California prison population, said that in the veterans’ case, “Congress and the administration should resolve the problem, but if they don’t, you’re left unfortunately with the court to do it.”

He said, “You shouldn’t have to do it, but it’s a last resort.””

Full Article: SF: COURT HEARS VETERANS APPEAL IN MENTAL HEALTH CARE CASE
Wed, 12 Aug 2009 17:02
CBS-5.com
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN)

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