Special veterans court marks 25th anniversary
November 11th, 2013
02:29 PM ET

Special veterans court marks 25th anniversary

By Bill Mears

The tiny courtroom tucked away in a downtown office building had almost no spectators on a recent Thursday.

And the cases being argued before a panel of judges were not blockbusters or precedent-setting in any way.

But to current and former military men and women seeking judicial relief, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is a legal lifeline. Perhaps it is their last chance to get the full disability compensation they believe they're owed.

The nation's newest federal court is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week, giving those who served in the military a chance to challenge individual decisions made by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The court's work is little noticed, but legal experts and veterans advocates say it provides an invaluable service.

"That we have a specialized veteran's court is a credit to our national commitment to do justice by 'him who shall have borne the battle' in President Lincoln's words,'" said Justice Antonin Scalia in April.

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