Attorney General Phil Weiser joins bipartisan coalition of 34 attorneys general in urging SCOTUS to protect veterans’ rights
April 14, 2023 (DENVER) – Attorney General Phil Weiser today joined a bipartisan coalition of 34 attorneys general in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to protect veterans’ rights.
In the case Rudisill v. McDonough, the court will decide whether to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to deny veterans their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, which, for veterans with multiple periods of service, include funding allowing them to pursue higher education.
“Veterans have a legal right to benefits outlined under the GI Bill, including the right to pursue higher education with their country’s support,” Weiser said. “Threatening to deny veterans these benefits disrespects the brave men and women who made significant sacrifices in service to our country.”
James Rudisill is a Virginia resident and a decorated army veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After his first tour, Rudisill used his Montgomery GI Bill Benefits to further his education, successfully complete his undergraduate degree, and return to the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer. Rudisill received one of the military’s highest accolades – the Bronze Star – for his service. Following his third tour, Rudisill was accepted into the Yale Divinity School, with a goal of returning to the armed forces yet again, this time as a chaplain.
The VA denied Rudisill his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, even though veterans with multiple requisite periods of service, like Rudisill, can earn up to 48 months of educational benefits. This unexplainable decision by the VA was overturned by multiple courts, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ultimately upheld the VA’s decision, robbing thousands of veterans of the GI Benefits they earned while serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares is leading the coalition submitting today’s brief. Joining Weiser and Miyares are the attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.