Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Judge rejects veteran's request for federal benefits

Judge Bruce E. Kasold
A federal judge today denied a Vietnam veteran's request to have his federal benefits reinstated after he returned to his native country of Cuba more than three decades ago.
Otto Macias, 75, has no chance of appeal, according to his lawyer, Jason Flores-Williams.
Flores-Williams said in a statement:
The federal judge in Otto Macias v. the Veteran’s Administration—matter of Cuban American war hero whose benefits were terminated due to the Cuban Embargo—had three options with regard to how he could rule on the extensive, exhaustive Writ of Mandamus filed on behalf of Mr. Macias. He could: (1)order the government to respond; (2)Grant the Writ in order to bring the VA into compliance with current administration policy; (3)Deny it outright without further review.

Today, he denied it outright.

The Rules of Ethics prohibit attorneys from criticizing judges and their decisions. However, my experience has shown me that unless you are a corporation or the government, then relief within the American judicial system is rarely available. In a time of great historic change between our countries when the main sticking point is human rights, one would hope that we could at least exemplify our commitment to due process.
President George W. Bush appointed the judge, Bruce E. Kasold, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in December 2003.
He was named chief judge of the court in August 2010.
According to AllGov.com, Kasold was born in New York City in 1951. He attended St. John the Evangelist School and later graduated from Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School in New York.
He went to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1973. Later he attended the University of Florida Law School. "Perry Mason" and other law shows inspired him, AllGov says.
One other bit of trivia, according to AllGov:
From November 1995 to December 1998, he worked as chief counsel for the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and co-drafted the initial Senate resolution for the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton.
Related:
Vietnam veteran in Cuba seeks justice
Vietnam veteran languishes in Cuba

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