Attorney General Todd Rokita and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich are leading a 15-state coalition taking up the cause of a U.S. Air Force veteran who was denied disability benefits.
Attorney General Rokita and the coalition are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court decision that accepted an interpretation of federal law concocted by federal bureaucrats at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“This is yet another instance of placing too much power in the hands of executive agencies,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Whenever Congress enacts a vague statute, deep-state bureaucrats step into the void to make the rules themselves. That’s just one way that Hoosiers lose their liberties and their voices. We’re standing up to safeguard those precious rights.”
In the case at hand, Air Force veteran Thomas Buffington stopped receiving his disability benefits after returning to active duty for several months. When he eventually sought to have them reinstated, he was told he had failed to follow a VA rule against waiting more than one year before submitting a claim to resume benefits. In his lawsuit, he argues that the VA rule is not authorized in the underlying statute passed by Congress.
“I am committed to pushing back against agency overreach,” Attorney General Rokita said, “even if that means amending or undoing judicial precedents that have allowed it to fester.”