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#1 Posted : Tuesday, October 23, 2018 9:12:13 AM(UTC)

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From the WaPo, 10/23/2018:
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals has long filled a nonpartisan role in the federal government, run by dozens of judges charged with sorting through a thicket of regulations to determine whether an injured veteran is entitled to lifetime benefits.

But this summer, the White House rejected half of the candidates selected by the board chairwoman to serve as administrative judges, who make rulings on the disability claims. The rejections came after the White House required them to disclose their party affiliation and other details of their political leanings, according to documents viewed by The Washington Post.

Such questions had not been asked of judge candidates in the past, according to former judges and board staff.

As part of the process, the candidates were asked to provide links to their social media profiles and disclose whether they had ever given a speech to Congress, spoken at a political convention, appeared on talk radio, or published an opinion piece in a conservative forum such as Breitbart News or a liberal one such as Mother Jones, according to one candidate, who requested anonymity because the person is not authorized to speak to the media.

The rejected applicants are three Democrats and an independent. Of the four accepted by the White House and sworn in last week, three are Republicans, and one has no party affiliation but has voted in GOP primaries, according to documents and interviews.

The rebuffed candidates were not given a reason. But their rejection has raised alarms among former and current officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where the appeals board — with about 90 judges and 800 attorneys — has always been viewed as nonpolitical.

A logo of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)

“During my tenure, the White House approval was considered pro forma,” said Anthony Principi, who led the agency during George W. Bush’s first term.

“I certainly remember the chairman [of the appeals board] being political,” Principi said, “but the judges were career civil servants. They’re adjudicators.”
#2 Posted : Tuesday, October 23, 2018 3:35:39 PM(UTC)

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That is disturbing.
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