We have pointed out the friction beginning to develop over time since VA Secretary Shinseki took office. This Order is the second to come down this year that evokes the belief by the Court that the Secretary was raised by wolves. Having one of these in your personnel folder would be a Bozo no-no for the majority of us mortal souls. Two would be evidence of a personality disorder and a red flag for employers. How do we square this arrogance in the man invested with our best interests when the Court appointed to repair his poor justice is also forced to correct his boorish behaviour? Harvey v. Shinseki provoked a finding of contempt of Court and a hefty fine. Vincent, here, once again riles them to new heights and the granting of a panel appeal where they had formerly granted the Secretary dismissal in April, 2011. That’s a major about face in any court, let alone ours.
This does not bode well for Vetkind. The more adversarial the two parties become, the more fractious the rulings. Justice cannot be well served by vindictive behaviour. Someone becomes the pawn or the casualty. The BVA may take an uncalled for aversion to adjudicating fairly knowing that they will be overruled anyway. The Court may become unreasonably biased to the point of making decisions that favor the Vet at the expense of the USC and good jurisprudence. Poor justice is worse than no justice because it destroys the faith that there is ultimate justice for the common man (or Vet).
The VASEC needs to have an attitude talk with his counsel (027) and impress on them that they are making him look bad in front of the Holy 7. We assume it’s their fault and/or a communications snafu. Perish the thought that this was orchestrated by Eric. He’s on our side and we’re all in this together, right? Band of Brothers, like?
Here’s Harvey in case you missed it.
Here’s Rule 31: