Aug. 21, 2023
Carson City, NV – Today, Attorney General Ford announced he has joined a coalition of 42 attorneys general urging the Supreme Court to protect veterans' rights by ruling in favor of James Rudisill in Rudisill v. McDonough. Rudisill, a Virginia resident and decorated army veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was told by the Department of Veterans Affairs that he was unable to take advantage of the full offered range of GI educational benefits.
“The Supreme Court must rule in favor of Mr. Rudisill, a decorated veteran and American patriot,” said AG Ford. “The decision as it currently stands robs our veterans of the benefits our country has promised them. We cannot go back on our word to those who form the bulwark of protection for our country and our residents.”
After his first tour of service, 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 the Bronze Star, one of the military's highest accolades, for his service. Following his third tour, Mr. Rudisill was accepted into the Yale Divinity School, with a goal of returning to the armed forces yet again, this time as a chaplain.
Rudisill believed that he would be able to use his benefits from the Post 9/11 GI Bill to continue his education, but the VA denied Rudisill these benefits even though veterans with multiple requisite periods of service have long been allowed to make use of the benefits from both GI Bills.
This inexplicable decision by the VA was overturned by multiple courts, but the en banc U.S. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit ultimately upheld the VA's decision, robbing thousands of veterans of the GI benefits they earned while serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The coalition, led by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, was joined by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.