SAN FRANCISCO - A federal appeals court reversed its demand that the Veterans Affairs Department dramatically overhaul its mental-health-care system.
A special 11-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said Monday that any such overhaul needs to be ordered by Congress or the president.
The 10-1 ruling reversed an earlier decision by a three-judge panel of the same court.
The May 2011 ruling had ordered the VA to ensure that suicidal vets are seen immediately, among other changes. It found the VA's "unchecked incompetence" in handling the flood of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health claims was unconstitutional.