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.FULL STORY
By Larry Shaughnessy
CNN Pentagon Producer
A veterans’ group says it has accumulated 29,000 signatures demanding that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki be fired over persistent delays in processing disability claims.
Concerned Veterans of America sent a petition to President Barack Obama this week maintaining that Veterans Affairs disability claims have increased nearly 2,000 % since he took office in 2009.
Shinseki has been the only veterans affairs secretary under Obama.
In response, the Veterans Affairs Department acknowledged that “too many” veterans have to wait too long for benefits.
“That’s unacceptable, and we are implementing a robust plan to fix the problem,” a statement said.