At a hearing Monday, a federal judge challenged Veterans Affairs officials’ efforts to toss out a lawsuit seeking to fast track housing construction for unhoused veterans at the sprawling West L.A. VA campus.
At the hearing – which ran for several hours – U.S. District Judge David O. Carter distributed a draft ruling in which he would let much of the lawsuit proceed – largely rejecting the government’s requests for him to dismiss it.
In a tense back and forth, Carter repeatedly questioned VA lawyers’ position that it has no legal duty to put veterans first – and at one point had the government’s lawyers call the VA’s housing hotline in open court to ask about outreach efforts to veterans experiencing homelessness.
“We’ve got a judge who feels it, who’s concerned, who wants to do the right thing,” said Mark Rosenbaum, the lead attorney for the veterans suing the VA in the case. “He gets it.”