Duncan Hunter Comes Out In Favor of Infamous Feres Doctrine

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), a member of the House Armed Services Committee comes out in an article in the Los Angeles Times in favor of the Feres Doctrine — a controversial rule that has effectively stripped military personnel of their ability to sue for even the most gross negligent acts by military doctors and managers. The article reports growing demands for the long-awaited termination of the doctrine.

Hunter calls the Feres Doctrine “a reasonable approach to ensuring that litigation does not interfere with the objectives and readiness of our nation’s military.” Yet, it is primarily designed to save the government money from having to pay for its own negligence — making military personnel a fraction of the cost of other citizens to hurt and kill.

As noted in prior columns, here and here and here, Feres has caused untold injury to our military personnel and their families. Yet, case of such negligence continue unabated in the absence of any legal deterrent. Click here and here.

For the full story, click here.

9 thoughts on “Duncan Hunter Comes Out In Favor of Infamous Feres Doctrine”

  1. By the U.S. Congress’s acts/inaction are U.S. Service Personnel and U.S. Veterans captured within the Executive Branch with no useful access to the Judicial Branch??

    The 1950 U.S. Supreme Court’s FERES DOCTRINE holds the U.S. Government harmless for injuries to active duty service personnel. In 1988 the U.S. Congress’s Veteran’s Judicial Review Act created the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals (COVA). As a practical matter, thereby now gone for both U.S. Service Personnel and U.S. Veterans are the check and balances within and between our branches of government. Please hold your members in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate responsible.

    In 2009, fifteen (15) years after the COVA Chief Judge’s statements, the Secretary of the DVA and his laymen “initial adjudicators” still are not held responsible for their “freely ignored” and medically brainless “Schedule of Ratings for Disabilities” decisions, i.e., the “STATE OF COURT” transcript PARAGRAPH 9 with Congress’s law of the land U.S. CODE, TITLE 38, SECTIONS (§) 511 and § 7252. Decisions of the Secretary; finality; REFERENCES [1], [2] & [3]. In 1994 the Chief Judge of Congress’s 1988 established inferior Veterans Court stated that the, “Constitution, Statutes and Regulations” are “policy freely ignored” by both the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and “The Veterans Health Administration” (VHA). This is a U.S. Congressional no teeth LEGISLATIVE Branch Court. Its Chief Judge describes veterans captured within an out of control, DVA health care process. Lost is a before military service right to a must be obeyed (independent from Congress and the Executive Branch’s DVA) superior Judicial Branch Court.

    A couple of examples of the “initial adjudicators” to date “freely ignored” are this veterans 1957 DVA Physician’s resultant USAF Physician’s, “MPerR PERMANENT” “SURGEON HQ ARRC JUN 25 ‘58 MEDICALLY DISQUALIFIED FOR MILITARY SERVICE” (1952 to 1956)! Then the layman adjudicator’s brainless 6/27/96 Supplemental Statement Of Case (SSOC) no “…competent medical evidence…”. After an ongoing 19 years in the DVA administrative process the veteran receives a 100% disability. To date there is still no recognition of their 1957 DVA physician’s resultant 1958 USAF physician “disqualified”!

    REFERENCES (Emphasis added throughout) with comments:


    ——————–PARAGRAPH 9 of 16 in “STATE OF COURT” TRANSCRIPT records DVA laymen ignoring medical opinion without veteran recourse.—————————–

    “I believe my message is clear. There is, I suggest, no system with judicial review which has within it a component part free to function in its own way, in its own time and with one message to those it disappoints — take an appeal. That is, I am afraid, what we have today in many of the Department’s Agencies of Original Jurisdiction — that is AOJs — around the country. Neither the Court, through the Board, the Board, nor the General Counsel has direct and meaningful control over the Agencies of Original Jurisdiction. Indeed, it is also clear that the VHA — the Veterans Health Administration — ignores specific directives to provide medical opinions as directed. And this is resulting in unconscionable delays. Let us examine judicial review. Remember, the Court and the Board do not make policy, the Secretary and Congress do. The Court simply identifies error made below by a failure to adhere, in individual cases, to the Constitution, statutes, and regulations which themselves reflect policy — policy freely ignored by many initial adjudicators whose attitude is, “I haven’t been told by my boss to change. If you don’t like it — appeal it.” The complete 16 paragraph “STATE OF COURT” transcript is available on request. Previously at, and now missing from the Chief Judges and state_of_court sites: http://www.goodnet.com/~heads/nebeker & http://www.firebase.net/state_of_court_brief.htm

    The top medically ignorant “boss” is Congress’s confirmed “Secretary” of the DVA.

    AND THE CONGRESS’S “policy freely ignored” UNITED STATES CODE law of the land, take away from Veterans:

    § 511. Decisions of the Secretary; finality

    “(a) The Secretary shall decide all questions of law and fact necessary to a decision by the Secretary under a law that affects the provision of benefits by the Secretary to veterans or the dependents or survivors of veterans. Subject to subsection (b), THE DECISION OF THE SECRETARY AS TO ANY SUCH QUESTION SHALL BE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE AND MAY NOT BE REVIEWED BY ANY OTHER OFFICIAL OR BY ANY COURT, whether by an action in the nature of mandamus or otherwise.”

    THEREFORE, NO COURT REVIEW OF THE MEDICALLY UNTRAINED DVA laymen and “Secretary” “schedule of ratings for disabilities” decisions as proven by:


    § 7252. Jurisdiction; finality of decisions

    “(b) Review in the Court shall be on the record of proceedings before the Secretary and the Board. The extent of the review shall be limited to the scope provided in section 7261 of this title. THE COURT MAY NOT REVIEW THE SCHEDULE OF RATINGS FOR DISABILITIES adopted under section 1155 of this title or any action of the Secretary in adopting or revising that schedule.”

  2. Excellent suggestion, however, I have to figure out how to put-off another 100 things on today’s list in order to join in. Maybe I could someone else to postpone my …

  3. Patty C 1, April 21, 2008 at 1:31 pm


    OK, since Passover has, y’know, passed over and we haven’t officially celebrated St. Expedite on the blog (April 19), I propose we all pledge our membership in The Procrastinators Club and team up with those De-motivators at Despair Inc. and declare our freedom from all LGAT’s ie Large Group Awareness Trainers and spend the rest of the day watching Speedy Gonzales cartoons on YouTube…

    Google ‘Speedy Gonzales’ AND for fun add ‘Gonzales Tomales’

  4. I’m unable to express myself properly today so I’m going for shorthand:

    1. Predatory ambulance chasing is shameful
    2. Predatory ambulance riding is shameful
    3. Military and Veterans should not have extra rights
    4. Military and Veterans should not have any less rights
    5. We, the electorate are responsible for electing boobs like Hunter
    6. We, the electorate are capable of replacing boobs like Hunter

  5. This is the same Duncan Hunter who presents himself as a flag-pin-wearing, invasion/occupation/Gitmo loving, supporter of the troops. Hunter is just like John McCain who similarly claims his allegience to our soldiers and even made a big show of opposing US torture because it could be justified against our own soldiers. Then McCain voted FOR the President’s Military Commisions Act which was signed, but with yet another Presidential “signing statement” voiding the torture provision without any objection from McCain. McCain voted AGAINST increased benefits to cover Iraq vets’ mental injuries and issues, AGAINST inclusion of benefits for disabled vets in the tax rebate scheme and is poised to vote AGAINST the new GI Bill going through Congress. I guess “supporting the troops” means wearing your flag pin and supporting the brass, not actually supporting the troops. Why do these Republicans hate our troops so much?

  6. dunder:

    Spoken like a person who has read all the propaganda but never ventured into a courtroom or had any actionable claim. Or maybe one whose had many claims–against them. Every objective study says litigation costs are no drag on the economy, and moreover, that changes wrought from litigation have made American products safer and hence the world’s standard. To cross the “t” for you, that makes our products the most desired. Denying people’s rights may be sport to the neo-con crowd, but is still a crime against society in my book.

  7. Attorneys have turned torts into the New World Lottery in which they get rich and American commerce gets turned upside down.

  8. Pretty soon, if the Republicans get their way, the right to sue in negligence will be the exception to every rule.

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