Changing Voices in a Familiar Conversation about Rules vs. Standards: Veterans Law at the Federal Circuit in 2011
55 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2012 Last revised: 15 Apr 2012
Date Written: 2012
This review of the Federal Circuit's veterans benefits case law in 2011 suggests that a familiar struggle between rules and standards lurks under the surface of some of the more familiar debates in veterans law. In particular, it suggests that the struggle between Chevron deference and Gardner’s rule of resolving ambiguity in favor of the veteran can be framed this way. It also suggests that the rules-versus-standards framing can be used to better understand the debate about what it means for the benefits system to be veteran friendly. In addition, this article addresses the changing dynamics surrounding veterans law and reviews important statistics describing the Federal Circuit’s veterans law decisions in 2011.
Keywords: veterans law, federal circuit, rules, standards, chevron, gardner
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