by Jim Fausone, Veteran Attorney
This week the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the issue about when a veteran misses the 120-day appeal period. The Veterans Court has taken the position that it could not grant a deadline extension for any reason. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed, based on a high court 2007 decision, saying federal time limits are not subject to judges' discretion unless Congress has written such flexibility into the law. Some of the judges in the Federal Circuit majority noted, however, that "the rigid deadline of the existing statute can and does lead to unfairness." In this case the Korean War veteran, Mr. Henderson, was suffering from psychiatric disability, bedridden and missed the appeal deadline. It will important to watch what the US Supreme Court holds. We will keep you updated on this important matter.
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