The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals chastised the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for contributing substantially to our sense of national shame.
The ruling agrees with the Veterans that they should receive retroactive disability benefits for those who contracted a form of leukmia after being exposed to Agent Orange.
Also affected are Vietnam vets diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
According to the courts brief in three different decades three different Congresses and three different presidents designed legislation to ensure the payment of benefits to veterans afflicted with Agent Orange-related ailments. Judge Stephen Reinhardt hopes that the obstructionist bureaucratic opposition will stop and the veterans will now receive what they have been morally and legally entitled to receive all along.
Richard Spataro, a lawyer with the National Veterans Legal Services Program is pleased that the VA will be prevented from denying veterans disability benefits for other diseases linked to Agent Orange.