This report discusses selected legal issues relating to the authority for summary removal of individuals in senior executive positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Section 707 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act, P.L. 113-146, enacted on August 7, 2014, created this authority by adding Section 713 to Title 38 of the United States Code. It authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to remove an individual in a senior executive position from federal service or transfer him or her to a position in the General Schedule if the Secretary determines that the individual’s performance or misconduct warrants removal.
This report addresses whether this authority raises a constitutional question under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment as a deprivation of a property right to continued federal employment and whether a court would have jurisdiction to hear a case brought by a senior executive who had been removed pursuant to it.