House Passes Revised ‘Stolen Valor Act’
Thursday, September 13, 2012
The House of Representatives today passed the Stolen Valor Act of 2012. The proposed law would make it a crime to lie about being awarded military medals for monetary gain.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 unconstitutional, saying it violated the First Amendment's protection of free speech. That case centered around a California man, Xavier Alvarez, who falsely claimed to be a recipient of the Medal of Honor. He was prosecuted under the law for lying about his military exploits.
The bill passed today by the House revises the 2005 law so that it's only illegal to lie about having earned military medals if the goal is financial profit. According to the Army Times, the bill applies only to certain awards:
Covered under the bill would be the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart. Also covered would be campaign badges, including the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Combat Action Badge, the Combat Medical Badge, Combat Action Ribbon and Combat Action Medal.
The new measure now heads to the Senate for approval.