The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, Pub. L. No. 115-41, 131 Stat. 862 (2017), was enacted into law on June 23, 2017, in an effort to reform a troubled government agency that has had the media shine a spotlight on its abuses and waste. This new law significantly lowers the standard of evidence to take adverse actions against federal employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs, overrides collective bargaining agreements, and greatly shortens notice and response time periods that are constitutionally guaranteed. This comment will discuss the history of due process in federal employment, assess the constitutionality of the new law through the Matthews v. Eldridge balancing test, and determine if its requirements violate the Due Process Clause. This comment suggests that the law is counterproductive, leading to a further deterioration of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Lastly, this comment will investigate the challenges involved in working to overturn or repeal this law. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals is ill equipped to handle federal employee due process claims. The law and others like it have been passed with broad bipartisan support, which will make it hard for the legislature to change course.
"Comment: Unconstitutional Accountability in the Department of Veterans Affairs,"
Marquette Benefits and Social Welfare Law Review: Vol. 20:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/benefits/vol20/iss1/5