Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Army Veteran’s Case

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Army Veteran's Case

( – American soldiers sacrifice their time and bodies to serve the United States and defend its freedom. But, their service often comes at a cost. For Army reservist Le Roy Torres, his time in Iraq cost him his health and job as a state trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS). However, his separation from TXDPS may not have been legal, and the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) just heard oral arguments over it.

On Tuesday, March 29, SCOTUS listened to arguments in the Torres v. Texas Department of Public Safety case. The case, put forth by Torres, argues that TXDPS, a state employer, should not have released Torres because of the lung damage he received while working near toxic burn pits while serving in Iraq. However, Texas claims it’s immune from the lawsuit due to “sovereign immunity.”

According to Torres, he requested accommodations for a desk job, but TXDPS denied his request. Torres resigned from his role as a state trooper with no other option because of his lung damage, headaches, and coughing fits. Shortly thereafter, he filed a lawsuit against TXDPS for discrimination because of his military service.

A journalist for Fox News shared a quote from Torres about his treatment as a veteran:

“The motivation is for justice,” Torres said of the case, adding that he did “everything possible,” to follow normal procedure after he returned from service in his condition.

If the SCOTUS sides with Torres, it would allow many veterans who believe they were also discriminated against for their military service or medical disabilities to pursue similar lawsuits that occurred while they served. However, it would challenge the sovereign immunity states can claim against federal lawsuits. It’s now up to the nine SCOTUS Justices to decide, although it’s still unknown when they will make their choice.

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