Opinions Relating to Orders - 2022

Buffington v. McDonough

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. JUSTICE GORSUCH, dissenting from the denial of certiorari.

Thomas Buffington served this Nation well but the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) failed him. Relying on its own internal regulations, the agency denied Mr. Buffington disability benefits that Congress promised him by statute. Nor is Mr. Buffington’s case an isolated one. The VA’s misguided rules harm a wide swath of disabled veterans.

Making matters worse, the lower courts in this case turned aside Mr. Buffington’s petition asking them to set aside the agency’s regulations and apply Congress’s statutory instructions as written. Instead, the courts invoked “Chevron deference,” bypassed any independent review of the relevant statutes, and allowed the agency to continue to employ its rules to the detriment of veterans. Respectfully, those who have served in the Nation’s Armed Forces deserve better from our agencies and courts alike.