NVLSP, VSOs Applaud the U.S. Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Antidiscrimination Rights of Service Members and Veterans
Pro Bono Assistance from Perkins Coie LLP
NVLSP applauds the U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), which protects service members and veterans from employment discrimination based on their military service or on disabilities related to their service. A Texas court had eliminated USERRA’s right of action against state government employers, effectively eliminating the law’s protections for hundreds of thousands of veterans and noncareer service members who work for state governments. NVLSP filed a “friend of the Court” brief in Torres v. Texas Department of Public Safety. NVLSP was joined by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) joined in filing the brief as amici curiae. The brief was filed with the pro bono assistance of Perkins Coie LLP. Learn more
NVLSP Sues VA to Publicly Release Guidance Related to Benefits Adjudications for LGBTQ+ Veterans With Less Than Honorable Discharges
NVLSP filed a complaint in federal court, seeking access under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to a recently issued Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guidance that the VA has not made public. The guidance, which the VA announced in September 2021, provides instruction to VA claims adjudicators in reviewing benefits claims for servicemembers discharged under the anti-LGBTQ+ policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” or for their gender identity or HIV status. Click here to read more.
NVLSP Greatly Disappointed by U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Denying Veterans Right to Relief Under “Clear and Unmistakable Error” For Decisions Based on Clearly Unlawful VA Rules
Pro Bono Assistance from Williams & Connolly LLP
NVLSP is disappointed the United States Supreme Court failed to grant relief for a former Marine, Kevin George, whom the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denied benefits based on an unlawful regulation. In George v. McDonough, the Supreme Court upheld a Federal court’s ruling that the “clear and unmistakable error” did not permit granting relief to Mr. George even though a court invalidated the VA’s regulation as clearly defying the law. NVLSP filed a brief, joined by National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates (NOVA), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), and Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) as amici curiae, or friends of the Court. The amici curiae brief was filed with the pro bono assistance of Williams & Connolly LLP. Learn more.
Federal Court Issues Initial Ruling in Favor of Veterans Seeking Back Awards of Combat-Related Special Compensation over $10,000 -Court Denies U.S. Motion to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit
Pro Bono Assistance from Sidley Austin LLP
The United States Court of Federal Claims denied the federal government’s motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit in the case styled Paige v. United States seeking back awards of Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) for amounts over $10,000. The lawsuit applies to veterans who had not received the full amount of CRSC they were owed because the military illegally imposed a 6-year ceiling on the amount it would pay in retroactive compensation. The class is represented by NVLSP with the pro bono assistance of Sidley Austin LLP. Veterans who are owed amounts under $10,000 are covered by a separate NVLSP and Sidley case, Soto v. United States, which had a ruling from the District Court for the Southern District of Texas in December 2021 ordering retroactive payments. Click here to learn more.