Fate of Veterans' Court questioned after judge loses re-election

It might be easier to list the places Arthur Davis hasn't been than has during his 22 years with the Marine Corps. When he retired from battling with our nation's enemies, he started fighting his own addictions and the law. Eventually, he ended up in front Judge Marc Carter in Veterans' Court.

"I was an alcoholic and a drug addicts when I met him. I don't mess with that no more. It's changed. He changed me and I'm forever in his debt," says the former First Sergeant.

He says he and the other veterans could count of fair and humane treatment in Veterans' Court. There the emphasis is on treatment and recovery rather than punishment. What they hadn't counted on was  the midterm elections. Every republican judge up for re-election lost as people voted straight ticket. Judge Carter was one of those who lost his seat on the bench.  

"He's the man. He saved my life," says Davis.

But Judge Carter says the Court is bigger than he is, and the incoming administrative judge has assured him Veterans' Court will continue. As this door closes, Carter says a new one has opened for him and the fellow veterans he's trying to help.

"I can be an advocate, because as you know as a judge I can't be an advocate. I can be a resource but I can’t be an advocate. The cuffs are off. I can make the arguments, I can file the lawsuits that need to be filed," he says.

He says he will be staying on to help advise the new administration when the new judge takes over. It's not clear right now who that will be, but the the vets who have been through the program know he will be a tough, if not impossible, act to follow.

"There is only one judge Marc Carter. He has to be rewarded for the hard work and the dedication that he has, because if it weren't for him there would be a lot of people around that wouldn't be in the position that they're in,” says Davis.

When veterans complete their programs, there’s a graduation ceremony. The last one under Judge Carter will be this Wednesday.