SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined an amicus brief, led by the State of Virginia, in Rudisill v McDonough, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to give American military veterans the full education benefits they earned during their service to the nation.
The case involves James Rudisill, who served in the U.S. Army. When Rudisill attempted to redeem his benefits under the GI Bill, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) told him that, since he had already used up over two years of benefits under a previous version of the GI Bill, he had less than one year of benefits left notwithstanding that Congress had since passed a newer, more generous GI Bill. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed with the VA, leading to Rudisill’s appeal to the nation’s high court.
This decision could affect approximately 1.7 million veterans.
In their brief, the attorneys general argue that “the lower court’s interpretation of the G.I. Bills deprives veterans of the expansive education benefits that Congress intended to confer.” They further argue that the lower court’s ruling “cannot be justified as a matter of statutory text, history, or policy” and “undermines the promises Congress made to veterans when they joined the Armed Forces.”
Virginia and Utah were joined by the States of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming as well as the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.