01.31.12

Senator Burr Introduces Bill to Increase Efficiency in Veterans Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced a bill that would require all judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to reside within 50 miles of Washington, D.C., in order to increase the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the Court.

"As anyone who has managed a business or office can tell you, things tend to run more smoothly when those people integral to the day-to-day operations are present," Senator Burr said. "If Veterans Court judges have to travel across the country to get to their offices, it could make it extremely difficult for them to fully engage in their case work, manage their staff, and carry out their judicial functions. Our nation's veterans could suffer from these inefficiencies. By requiring judges to live near the court's office, we can help ensure that veterans receive the timely decisions from the Court that they deserve."

The bill further aims to reduce any costs that could arise if judges work remotely, such as shipping materials that judges could otherwise review in person.

The bill would require that, while in active service, a judge of the Veterans Court must reside within 50 miles of Washington, D.C., where the Court's office is located. Failure to comply with the residency requirement would be grounds for removal for all judges confirmed on or after January 1, 2012. The changes would be effective 6 months after the date of enactment, in order to provide any affected judges with sufficient time to comply. The 50-mile residency requirement is modeled after the residency requirement currently in law for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which is also located in Washington, D.C.