- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 8, 2005

Donald L. Ivers had been named chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the nation’s only court that interprets and applies the laws that affect veterans and their survivors.

Formed by Congress in 1988, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or CAVC, is separate from the Department of Veterans Affairs. CAVC was created as a place for veterans to appeal decisions made by the VA, including benefits and disability ratings.

Judge Ivers, 64, was appointed to CAVC in 1990 by President Bush as a senior judge and took over as chief judge earlier this month when Chief Judge Kenneth Kramer retired.

“I am honored to lead the court in providing justice to veterans in an era when the nation’s veterans are increasing in numbers and Americans are daily reminded of the great sacrifices members of the armed forces are making on our behalf,” Judge Ivers said.

Judge Ivers wears many hats when it comes to his duties as chief judge. In addition to deciding cases, he oversees the court’s budget, presides over meetings of the board of judges, supervises the clerk of the court and represents the court before Congress.

He said his biggest challenge will be informing people about CAVC and what it does.

“One of our biggest problems is that people forget that this court is not part of the VA,” he said.

He has raised public awareness of CAVC by increasing the court’s outreach to law schools and veterans organizations, and continuing the fight for a permanent courthouse.

“The courthouse would be huge because veterans could look to the courthouse and say that’s where they are taken care of,” he said.

Mr. Bush’s nomination form said Judge Ivers’ experience with the military made him an ideal candidate for both judge and chief judge of CAVC. He served on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1968 and was stationed in Germany and Vietnam.

He retired from the U.S. Army Reserves in 1992 as a lieutenant colonel and was awarded numerous medals, including the Bronze Star.

Judge Ivers has served as chief counsel of the Federal Highway Administration and the Republican National Committee, as chairman of the Safety Review Task Force and as counselor to the secretary of transportation.

He is married and the father of three children.

Melissa Brosk

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