For those of you keeping score at home, the blunt decision by a federal appeals court a year ago came as a shocker:
We willingly acknowledge that, in theory, the political branches of our government are better positioned than are the courts to design the procedures necessary to save veterans’ lives and to fulfill our country’s obligation to care for those who have protected us. But that is only so if those governmental institutions are willing to do their job.
The three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit declared the Department of Veterans Affairs’ mental-health care so poor as to be “unconstitutional.” But on Monday, an 11-judge panel from the same circuit said it’s none of the court’s business.
“There can be no doubt that securing exemplary care for our nation’s veterans is a moral imperative,” the 10-1 majority wrote. “But Congress and the president are in far better position” to what improvements need to be made.
Somewhere, Air Force Captain John Yossarian weeps.