Blackburn, Colleagues Support Buffington Petition for Veteran Disability

February 18, 2022

KNOXVILLE, TENN. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) filed an amicus brief to support a review of Buffington v. McDonough before the Supreme Court. 


In 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs refused to give Thomas Buffington the disability payments he had earned, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has since upheld the VA’s position. In doing so, the Federal Circuit ignored court precedent and violated a long-standing practice of resolving ambiguities in the law in favor of veterans.


The senators disagree with the Federal Circuit’s decision and are supporting a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court.


“Our nation’s heroes fought to defend our nation, and now, veterans like Mr. Buffington are forced to fight to receive their disability payments,” said Blackburn. “The courts blatantly misinterpreted existing law and put veterans at a disadvantage, and it is imperative that the Supreme Court rectify this mistake.”  


“No veteran should have to fight the VA to get the benefits they earned, and no court should defer to the administration instead of Congress and deny that compensation. It was wrong for the court to distort Congress’ wishes by invoking Chevron deference—the VA should pay Mr. Buffington what he’s owed,” said Cotton.


Text of the brief may be found here.