"That noble institution, the U.S. government, is shirking its responsibility through legal technicalities . . . and dishonoring its veterans," said lawyer Michael Kator. "I wouldn't be particularly proud if I were on the other side."
Proud or not, lawyers for the Justice Department won a remarkably lopsided victory in the first of two high-profile lawsuits brought by military retirees seeking compensation for lost access to free medical benefits.
In Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. District Court Judge Patrick M. Duffy, an Army veteran, ruled with what he described as "genuine regret" that federal courts have no jurisdiction over how the military or Congress allocates health-care resources between active duty forces and retirees.