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Attorney General Josh Stein Urges SCOTUS To Protect Veterans’ Rights

For Immediate Release:
Monday, August 21, 2023

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein joined a bipartisan group of 42 attorneys general urging the Supreme Court to protect veterans’ rights by ruling in favor of James Rudisill in Rudisill v. McDonough and granting Rudisill and thousands of other veterans the full GI benefits they earned while serving their country.

“It’s wrong that we would ask our servicemembers to be the first into battle to defend our nation, and then fail to give them all the support they need to continue their education, career, and life when they return as veterans,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I urge the Court to grant our veterans the full benefits they earned in service.”

James Rudisill is a Virginia resident and a decorated army veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After his first tour, Mr. 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. Mr. Rudisill served his country bravely and received the Bronze Star, one of the military’s highest accolades, for his service. Following his third tour, Mr. 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 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denied Mr. Rudisill his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, even though veterans with multiple requisite periods of service, like Mr. Rudisill, can earn up to 48 months of educational benefits. The VA’s decision was overturned by multiple courts, but ultimately upheld by the en banc U.S. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit, robbing thousands of veterans of their earned benefits.

In their brief, the attorneys general argue that the VA’s decision “undermines the promises Congress made to veterans when they joined the Armed Forces and deprives them of their full educational benefits.”

Attorney General Stein was joined in filing the brief by the Attorneys General of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

A copy of the brief is available here.


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