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 (BVA), an administrative board that itself hears appeals from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). 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 was temporarily expanded on December 31, 2009, to nine judicial posts. This extension ended on January 1, 2013, and new appointments will not be made until the court drops below seven active judges.
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
There are no pending nominations for the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
All judges are nominated to posts for 15 years.
|Judge Mary Schoelen||Rota, Spain||W. Bush||12/2004-Present||University of California, Irvine, 1990||George Washington University Law, 1993|
|Judge Robert N. Davis||W. Bush||12/4/2004-Present||University of Hartford, 1975||Georgetown University Law School, 1978|
|Judge Alan Lance, Sr.||McComb, OH||W. Bush||12/2004-Present||South Dakota State University, 1971||University of Toledo Law, 1973|
|Judge William Moorman||Chicago, IL||W. Bush||11/20/2004-Present||University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, 1967||University of Illinois Law, 1970|
|Judge Lawrence Hagel||Washington, IN||W. Bush||12/2003-Present||U.S. Naval Academy||University of the Pacific Law|
|Chief Judge Bruce Kasold||W. Bush||12/31/2003-Present||2010-Present||United States Military Academy||University of Florida Law|
|Judge William Greenberg||Obama||12/28/2012-Present||Johns Hopkins University, 1964||Rutgers University Law, 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|
|Senior Judge Frank Nebeker||H.W. Bush||10/1989-11/2000||11/2000-Present||University of Utah||American University Law School|
|Senior Judge Ronald Holdaway||H.W. Bush||1990-11/2002||11/2002-Present||University of Wyoming, 1957||University of Wyoming Law, 1959|
|Senior Judge Kenneth Kramer||H.W. Bush||1989-9/14/2004||2000-2004||9/14/2004-Present||University of Illinois, Champaign, 1963||Harvard Law Scchool, 1966|
|Senior Judge Donald Ivers||H.W. Bush||8/6/1990-8/2005||8/2005-Present||University of New Mexico||American University|
|Senior Judge William Greene, Jr.||Clinton||11/7/1997-2010||2005-2010||11/2010-Present||West Virginia State College, 1965||Howard University Law, 1968|
The court has appellate jurisdiction over claims across the United States from the Board of Veterans Appeals.
You can find a list of decisions at U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims-Opinions and Decisions.
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 designation.
The court has seven judicial posts, with each post being appointed for fifteen years. The court was temporarily expanded to nine judicial posts on December 31, 2009. This extension ended on January 1, 2013, and new appointments will not be made until the court drops below seven active judges.
For more information about the judges of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, see former federal judges of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
The court is located in Washington D.C.
- United States 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
|Former Article I judges||John Farley, III • Jonathan Steinberg • Hart Mankin •|
|Former Chief judges||