Carson J. Tucker and Lex Fori PLLC filed a petition in the United States Supreme Court yesterday to protect veteran’s disability benefits from wrongful appropriation contrary to federal law.
For decades, disabled veterans have suffered immeasurably under the Court’s wholly judicial creation of an exception to explicit protections afforded them by Congress’s exercise of its enumerated military powers.
Self-interested lawyers and state machinations have collaborated to raise a clamor to prevent this self-executing and explicit preemptive law from taking effect. But the swell of defiance does not make these parties any more correct, nor can it insulate state courts from the rights of those who seek to regain and restore to themselves their constitutional entitlements.
The passage of time and the din of dissension cannot erode the underlying structure guaranteeing the rights bestowed. The Supreme Court has recently expressed this sentiment in overturning more than a century of reliance on erroneous legal principles. McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020). There, Justice Gorsuch, writing for a majority of the Court stated:
“Unlawful acts, performed long enough and with sufficient vigor, are never enough to amend the law. To hold otherwise would be to elevate the most brazen and longstanding injustices over the law, both rewarding wrong and failing those in the right.” Id. at 2482.
The federal statutes and regulations passed pursuant to Congress’s enumerated military powers contain no allowance to the states to sequester the veterans’ disability benefits at issue in this case and force them to be paid over to any other individual for state-imposed support obligations.
Rather, these benefits are (and always have been) explicitly excluded from state jurisdiction and control, before, 42 U.S.C. § 659(h)(1)(B)(iii), and after, 38 U.S.C. § 5301(a)(1), their receipt by the beneficiary.
We are taking affirmative steps of ensure that this is rectified.