WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, visited the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (625 Indiana Ave, NW, Washington, D.C.). Akaka met with Chief Judge Bill Greene and the six other judges on the court: Bruce Kasold, Larry Hagel, Bill Moorman, Al Lance, Bob Davis, and Mary Schoelen. Senator Akaka saw judges' chambers and the Courtroom and toured the working areas and storage spaces of the Court with the judges and the Clerk of the Court, Norman Herring.
Chairman Akaka commended the judges for their great dedication and hard work. He noted that the facility, which occupies three floors of an office building, was crowded and discussed the Court's planning for its facility at the expiration of the current lease in 2010. Akaka, Chief Judge Greene, and the other judges discussed a number of issues relating to the Court and to the overall issue of the way that veterans' claims for benefits are managed. He advised the Chief Judge of his intention to hold a Committee hearing in the fall on issues surrounding claims adjudication, appeals, and the role of the Court, with the goal of enabling the Veterans' Affairs Committee to hear testimony on the current situation and to craft any necessary legislative or other action relating to the Court or to other elements in the overall claims adjudication system.