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Drummond, bipartisan coalition of attorneys general ask SCOTUS to protect veterans' rights

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 1, 2023) – Attorney General Gentner Drummond, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares and a bipartisan coalition of 32 other attorneys general are asking the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to hear the case of James Rudisill in Rudisill v. McDonough and protect veterans’ rights.

Rudisill is a Virginia resident and a decorated army veteran of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After his first tour, Rudisill used his Montgomery GI Bill benefits to further his education, successfully complete his undergraduate degree and return to the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer. Rudisill served his country bravely and received one of the military’s highest honors – the Bronze Star – for his service. Following his third tour, Rudisill was accepted into the Yale Divinity School, with a goal of returning to the armed forces as a chaplain. 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denied Rudisill his Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, despite the fact that veterans with multiple requisite periods of service, like him, can earn up to 48 months of educational benefits. This unexplainable decision by the VA was overturned by multiple courts, but the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ultimately upheld the VA’s decision, depriving thousands of veterans of the GI benefits they earned while serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“James Rudisill and other veterans who have been denied benefits that are owed to them for their honorable military service deserve justice,” Drummond said. “As a veteran, I fully understand the sacrifice required to serve our country. I will always honor our servicemembers by strongly defending veterans’ rights.”

The brief was joined by the following other states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.