SAN FRANCISCO — A sharply divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled today that the Veterans Administration denies due process rights to wounded troops by providing inadequate mental health care, which has led to a high rate of suicide among soldiers returning from war zones.

“The VA’s unchecked incompetence has gone on long enough; no more veterans should be compelled to agonize or perish while the government fails to perform its obligations,” wrote Judge Stephen Reinhardt.