United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is the federal court that hears appeals from the Board of Veterans Appeals, an administrative board that itself hears appeals from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Decisions are appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The court's seven judges are appointed by the President to fifteen year terms. The court's retired judges each have the option of being called back as senior judges if they are needed. In this case they are treated as senior judges and hold all power and authority that comes with that title.
The court hears no new testimony, conducts no trials, and considers no new evidence. Instead, it considers the BVA decision, the administrative record that was before the DVA, and briefs of the parties before it.
Vacancy warning level
The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims' vacancy warning level is currently set at green with no vacancies of the court's seven posts. There are no pending appointments.
The court has appellate jurisdiction over claims across the United States from the Board of Veterans Appeals.
The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has one courthouse in the District of Columbia. The official clerk of court is Gregory O. Block. The Clerk's office is open Monday through Friday 8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., excluding Federal holidays. The court can be contacted at (202) 501-5970 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The official address is:
625 Indiana Avenue, NW, Suite 900,
Washington, D.C. 20004-2950
Prior to the court, the only recourse for veterans' denied benefits was the Veterans Administration agency. After the Vietnam war, the abundance of veterans calling for benefits and the lack of judicial review caused public outcry and on November 18, 1988 resulted in the creation of the court under the Judicial Review Act. The creation of the court also opened the door for lawyers to represent clients for reasonable fees. The court is the sixth court with national jurisdiction founded by Congress. Originally entitled the United States Court of Veterans Appeals, the name was changed in 1999 to its current formulation.
The court has 7 judicial posts, with each post being appointed for 15 years. The court was temporarily expanded on December 31, 2009 to 9 judicial posts. This extension ended on January 1, 2013, and new appointments will not be made until the court drops below 7 active judges.
You can find a list of decisions at U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims-Opinions and Decisions.
The court is located in Washington D.C.
- U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
- The Washington Post, "‘Veterans court’ faces a backlog that continues to grow," April 11, 2011
- New York Times, "Slogging on the Home Front," May 2, 2011
|2.1 Active Judges|
|2.1.1 Article III judges|
|2.1.2 Pending appointments|
|2.1.3 Senior judges|
|2.1.4 Special masters|
|2.2 Past judges|
|2.2.1 Former Chief judges|
|2.2.2 Former judges|
All judges are nominated to posts for 15 years.The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has 7 posts. This is a list of the current judges on the court:
|Judge Mary Schoelen||Rota, Spain||W. Bush||12/2004 - Present||U. of California, Irvine, B.A., 1990||George Washington U. Law, J.D., 1993|
|Judge Robert N. Davis||W. Bush||12/4/2004 - Present||U. of Hartford, 1975||Georgetown U. Law, 1978|
|Judge Alan Lance, Sr.||McComb, OH||W. Bush||12/2004 - Present||South Dakota State U., 1971||U. of Toledo Law, 1973|
|Judge William Moorman||Chicago, IL||W. Bush||11/20/2004 - Present||U. of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, B.A., 1967||U. of Illinois Law, J.D., 1970|
|Judge Lawrence Hagel||Washington, IN||W. Bush||12/2003 - Present||U.S. Naval Academy||U. of the Pacific Law|
|Chief Judge Bruce Kasold||W. Bush||12/31/2003 - Present||2010 - Present||United States Military Academy, B.S.||U. of Florida Law, J.D.|
|Judge William Greenberg||Obama||12/28/2012 - Present||Johns Hopkins U., B.A., 1964||Rutgers U. Law, J.D., 1967|
|Judge Coral W. Pietsch||Obama||6/2012-Present||College of St. Teresa||Catholic University of America|
|Judge Margaret Bartley||Obama||6/2012-Present||Pennsylvania State University, 1981||American University Washington College of Law, 1993|
There are no current pending appointments for the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Senior judgesSee: Federal judges on senior status
The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has 5 judges on senior status currently. This is a list of the current senior judges on the court:
|Senior Judge Frank Nebeker||H.W. Bush||10/1989 - 11/2000||11/2000 - Present||U. of Utah||American U. Law|
|Senior Judge Ronald Holdaway||H.W. Bush||1990 - 11/2002||11/2002 - Present||U. of Wyoming, B.A., 1957||U. of Wyoming Law, 1959|
|Senior Judge Kenneth Kramer||H.W. Bush||1989 - 9/14/2004||200 - 2004||9/14/2004 - Present||U. of Illinois, Champaign, B.A., 1963||Harvard Law, J.D., 1966|
|Senior Judge Donald Ivers||H.W. Bush||8/6/1990 - 8/2005||8/2005 - Present||U. of New Mexico||American U.|
|Senior Judge William Greene, Jr.||Clinton||11/7/1997 - 2010||2005 - 2010||11/2010-Present||West Virginia State College, B.A., 1965||Howard U. Law, J.D., 1968|
Former Chief judges
There are no current judges in this category. In order to qualify for the office of Chief Judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as Chief Judge. A vacancy in the office of Chief Judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The Chief Judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a Chief Judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion. See 28 U.S.C. § 45.
These rules for Chief Judges in the federal judiciary have been in effect since October 1, 1982. The office of Chief Judge was created in 1948. Until August 6, 1959, the position was filled in each federal court by the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire on what has since 1958 been known as senior status or declined to serve as Chief Judge. From then until 1982 it was filled by the senior such judge who had not turned 70.
|Former Article I judges||John Farley, III • Jonathan Steinberg • Hart Mankin •|
|Former Chief judges||