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Stolen Valor Act Struck Down By Supreme Court

Medal of Honor
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Above: Medal of Honor

The U.S. Supreme Court today struck down the Stolen Valor Act. The federal law made it illegal to lie about having been awarded military medals like the Medal of Honor.

The Military Times reports the court's decision was a 6-3 ruling. The case centered around a California man, Xavier Alvarez, who falsely claimed to be a recipient of the Medal of Honor:

Alvarez had pleaded guilty to violating a 2006 law that was adopted with the nation at war in Afghanistan and Iraq and aimed at people making phony claims of heroism in battle. The court, in a judgment written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, ordered that his conviction be thrown out.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the court ruled Alvarez's falsehood was free speech protected by the 1st Amendment.

Comments

Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | June 28, 2012 at 3:21 p.m. ― 1 year, 9 months ago

Protected by FREE SPEECH? It amazes me how we allow the law to be manipulated by those committing such a disgraceful act. Everyone lies. We all do. But Alvarez's lie rocked many of us veterans and non-vets down to the core. Don't think for one minute he lives in shame. A person like that has no dignity and won't be sorry for his act. They truly live in their own world which is why they should be accountable for their actions. I don't believe free speech in any way can be confused with declaring credit for medals.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 29, 2012 at 11:48 a.m. ― 1 year, 9 months ago

HarryStreet,

Lying about medals rocked you down to the core? Don't be so dramatic.

The Medal of Honor is simply an object. One man may stand in awe, another may shrug his shoulders, while a third may have disgust for it.

You can't mandate respect and punish those you think don't show enough.

However, what should be illegal is Alvarez's mustache! Good lord!

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | June 29, 2012 at 1:19 p.m. ― 1 year, 9 months ago

As much as I hate the act, this was the correct call. Flag burning and politicians making false claims are the cost fo doing business.

In the opinion, the SC said that a national database of awardees would prevent abuse. As a link to that list I'd also like to see a list of liars (with pictures) who falesly claim honors they did not earn.

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Avatar for user 'Dothscribble'

Dothscribble | June 29, 2012 at 2:02 p.m. ― 1 year, 9 months ago

That may have been the Psycho-ranger's free speech but society should defend itself or such decorations risk losing their meaning. Why should we choose that?
Social-lampooning with the inalienable right of truth will deter other zeros from
the now approved Lying. Alvarez earned his shame fair & square.

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