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Court tosses law about false claims on medals
Fox News ^ | June 28, 2012 | AP as seen on Fox News

Posted on 06/28/2012 6:34:36 PM PDT by Lowell1775

Court tosses law about false claims on medals

Published June 28, 2012

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a federal law making it a crime to lie about receiving the Medal of Honor and other prized military awards, with justices branding the false claim "contemptible" but nonetheless protected by the First Amendment.

The court voted 6-3 in favor of Xavier Alvarez, a former local elected official in California who falsely said he was a decorated war veteran and had pleaded guilty to violating the 2006 law, known as the Stolen Valor Act. The law, enacted when the U.S. was at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, was aimed at people making phony claims of heroism in battle.

The ruling, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, ordered that the conviction be thrown out.

"Though few might find respondent's statements anything but contemptible, his right to make those statements is protected by the Constitution's guarantee of freedom of speech and expression. The Stolen Valor Act infringes upon speech protected by the First Amendment," Kennedy said.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/28/court-tosses-law-about-false-claims-on-medals/?test=latestnews#ixzz1z8p61pwm

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: claims; false; stolen; valor
This may already have been beaten to death by Freepers....don't know...BUT I have a question.

How is lying about having medals any different than lying about colleges, certifications, being a Doctor, Lawyer, etc.....

A person's military service and record is often a key criteria used in hiring and association.....

I would certainly hire Audie Murphy over Bill Clinton.

I am confused. Comments?

1 posted on 06/28/2012 6:34:49 PM PDT by Lowell1775
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To: Lowell1775

Barry’s Supremes peed all over veterans today. I guess they figured this would be buried after they sided with Communist Party USA on CommieCare.


2 posted on 06/28/2012 6:37:38 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Dude! Where's my Constitution?!)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

His conviction may have been overturned,but Alvarez is still a POS.Even he knows what he is by now.


3 posted on 06/28/2012 6:41:09 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: Lowell1775

I wonder if it is legal to carry an FBI or State Police badge and use it to impress and win entrance into events and awards.


4 posted on 06/28/2012 6:46:37 PM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors, where the GOP now goes for it's Presidential candidates.)
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To: Lowell1775

So now outright fraud is protected speech.


5 posted on 06/28/2012 6:47:43 PM PDT by VoiceOfBruck (Mandrake gestures hypnotically)
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To: ansel12
It would have to be, right?

Just like I can now legally and loudly proclaim myself to be an ICE agent who DOES NOT follow Obama’s non-arrest policies upon entering any public place...right?

6 posted on 06/28/2012 6:51:56 PM PDT by sarasmom ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xZsFe6dM3EY)
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To: Lowell1775
If you look back through some older threads on the Stolen Valor Act, you'll find there were plenty of FReepers who saw this strictly as a First Amendment/Freedom of Speech issue. I argued against them on a number of threads being strongly pro-SVA, but the main thrust of their argument was that lying, in and of itself, is not a crime (and that much I agree with them). They argue that if it's done with the intent to fraudulently obtain something of monetary value, existing fraud laws already cover that, and I also agree with them in that regard as well.

My contention is that not all things of worth can be expressed in monetary terms, and military service, and the recognition thereof, is not only one such thing, but needs to be given special consideration based on its essential role in preserving our society. Falsely claiming such recognition undermines the recognition bestowed upon the legitimate medal awardees in much the same way the holder of a counterfeit $100 bill victimizes every holder of a legitimate $100 bill.

Above and beyond that, it is my contention that as military medals, skills badges, tabs, etc. presuppose an extensive orders process, falsely claiming such should fall in the same category as forging or falsifying any other offical government record.

7 posted on 06/28/2012 6:56:37 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Lowell1775

Bring back DITHF.


8 posted on 06/28/2012 7:01:00 PM PDT by Revel
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To: Lowell1775
How is lying about having medals any different than lying about colleges, certifications, being a Doctor, Lawyer, etc.....

It's the same thing, and I don't see how the Freedom of Speech, which is the freedom to express your opinions, covers lying about military service.

9 posted on 06/28/2012 7:01:20 PM PDT by TwelveOfTwenty (With choices like Palin, Cain, and Bachmann, what could go wrong? Now we know.)
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To: Joe 6-pack
I'm sure you and I have run across each other on such threads. I'm one that claims that it's a 1st amendment issue and a fraud issue, if used to claim value.

One thing the Stupid Supremes didn't do is say I can't point and laugh and make fun of and advertise those that steal valor from the brave guys that earned those medals.

We just have to catch them and make their life miserable.

I was a cook, last enlistment, spooky first time around. That's it. I have a chest full of ribbons, but 2 of them are staying enlisted and not getting arrested ribbons (Good Conduct).

The value of military honors has been diminshing over the years.

/johnny

10 posted on 06/28/2012 7:10:30 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Lowell1775

This law had to be overturned otherwise Obama might be subjected to fraud charges regarding his birth certificate. /s


11 posted on 06/28/2012 7:12:03 PM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America
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To: Lowell1775

I am not trying to be ugly about this, but try reading the opinions - they are quick and easy reads. I read Allito dissent, interesting. There is an explaination on this. It is only about 50 pages.


12 posted on 06/28/2012 7:16:26 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: sarasmom
Just like I can now legally and loudly proclaim myself to be an ICE agent who DOES NOT follow Obama’s non-arrest policies upon entering any public place...right?

LOL! On the weekend the Mavs were playing in the play-offs in Dallas and I had drill weekend and neither my boss nor my CO wanted to let me get away....

I managed to work out a deal with the CO to go back to the resturant kitchen I managed after 1400.

I got caught in traffic, and showed up late, didn't bother to change from uniform into a chef's jacket, hit the door and yelled "immigration! Alto!"

2 of my guys bailed out the back door that I thought was no longer used and blocked.

We had a sit-down the next week and did new I-9s on everybody, including me.

/johnny

13 posted on 06/28/2012 7:19:15 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Lowell1775

I think the best bet here is to scare the fakes. There are now websites that expose fakes, so why not put a “bounty”, as it were, on them? That is, let it be known that it is open season on ‘spanking’ such fakes.

Remember back when some federal court decided that it was “free speech” to desecrate our flag, and the response was to punch out the flag burners? A lot of LEOs basically wagged their finger at the puncher and said, “naughty, naughty!”, but did nothing.

Right now, organizations like VeriSEAL estimate the number of fakes to real US Navy SEALs is about 200:1.

So the odds are that when you see some middle aged, pot-bellied and flabby, pasty faced, patchouli smelling, pencil-necked geek hitting on women in bars claiming to to be a an “ex-SEAL with a Congressional Medal of Honor”, he is *lying*.

And nobody is going to get really upset if he is wearing a nose splint for a week or two.


14 posted on 06/28/2012 7:20:45 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: Joe 6-pack
I have to admit that I am one of those persons to whom you referring. However, I did read Allito dissent. I agree with his opinion in as long as the law is narrowly crafted, I have no issue with it, and Allito thought that it was sufficiently crafted to address only these issues. The Per Curiam opinion argued that law was not, and not that lying was free speech, but that the law could interfer with the exercise thereof. Allito said that, if I read his dissent correctly, that the courts could provide relief to those whose legitimate speech is affected.
15 posted on 06/28/2012 7:31:00 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: FlingWingFlyer

“Barry’s Supremes peed all over veterans today.”

Yup. You can now slander the limitary at will.
First states (Arizona), then the people (Obamacare), now veterans.

Bad week for freedom and the American way of life.


16 posted on 06/28/2012 7:31:46 PM PDT by WOSG (REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMA.)
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To: JRandomFreeper
"I'm one that claims that it's a 1st amendment issue and a fraud issue, if used to claim value."

As far as I know, this guy didn't claim anything of (monetary) value...

Jesse Macbeth

...but his mere lying about his military deeds and achievments stoked the antiwar movement and jeopardized real Rangers and other soldiers.

The only reason his subsequent lies had any credibility is because of his claims to certain military achievments.

IMHO, the lies he used to gain entrée to the media and to become the darling of the anti-war crowd should, in and of themselves, be prosecutable.

17 posted on 06/28/2012 7:34:38 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: FlingWingFlyer
Its cool in DC to be dishonest. Just think of the multitude of Obama lies. They are never countered. Go tell the truth in Washington and see how fast you get run over.
18 posted on 06/28/2012 7:35:22 PM PDT by oyez ( .Apparently The U.S. CONSTITUTION has been reduced to the consistency of quicksand.)
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To: Perdogg
Oh...I agree that it MUST be narrowly crafted, and I consider myself quite libertarian in most areas, speech included. My philosophy towards this was more akin to counterfeitting than to other types of fraud in that claims of false recognition undermined the value of the recognition and esteem given those who truly earned them. Just because this recognition can't be expressed stictly in terms of a dollar amount does not mean it is not without value, and consequently the legitmate award winners are victimized when the value of their recognition is decreased.
19 posted on 06/28/2012 7:43:53 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

I think you are trivializing the egregious nature of this particular “decision”.

For what it’s worth, I sat on many a bar stool back in my younger days,(including NCO clubs,AMVETS and VFWs around the world) and not once did any of the lying drunken sleezebags ever claim to be ex-SEAL/Ranger/Special Forces/ETC as a pick up line.
Even the “trash” at the few biker bars and honkytonks I visited refrained from such actions.
As an office manager for many years, having watched a lot of resumes pass my desk, again, I don’t recall ever seeing someone trying to lie their way into a job that way.

Apparently only politicians, media personalities and predatory sexual perverts make such false claims.

So SCOTUS tosses out the law against them because...?


20 posted on 06/28/2012 7:50:04 PM PDT by sarasmom ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xZsFe6dM3EY)
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To: Lowell1775

Just wait ‘til I show up in DC in a black robe and tell everybody I’m a Sooooopreme Court Justice!


21 posted on 06/28/2012 7:53:24 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Thank you for serving!


22 posted on 06/28/2012 7:55:07 PM PDT by Rides_A_Red_Horse
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To: Lowell1775

Kerry must be doing the happy dance tonight.


23 posted on 06/28/2012 7:57:41 PM PDT by bgill
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To: Joe 6-pack

As far as I know, this guy didn’t claim anything of (monetary) value...


He filed a false VA Benefits application.

They should have handed his sorry butt over to the real Rangers.


24 posted on 06/28/2012 7:57:52 PM PDT by Rides_A_Red_Horse
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America
This law had to be overturned otherwise Obama might be subjected to fraud charges regarding his birth certificate. /s

Why the /s? It's probably very close to the truth.

25 posted on 06/28/2012 8:03:43 PM PDT by bgill
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To: Rides_A_Red_Horse
"He filed a false VA Benefits application."

Even if he hadn't, I'd still argue that his mischaracterization of his military service and awards should have been criminal.

26 posted on 06/28/2012 8:04:14 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Agreed.


27 posted on 06/28/2012 8:10:41 PM PDT by Rides_A_Red_Horse
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To: FlingWingFlyer

You have to ask yourself.... Has any current Supreme Justice served the armed forces.


28 posted on 06/28/2012 8:27:06 PM PDT by Orange1998
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To: FlingWingFlyer; Chode

You are so correct.

I just realized that will each passing day obozo seems to offend or tick off someone or some group.

At the rate he is going there will not be a group offended by him. If we are lucky.


29 posted on 06/28/2012 8:52:53 PM PDT by Morgana (This space for rent. Cheap.)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

You know how to tell if a squid was a SEAL or not? If he was a SEAL he won’t mention it.


30 posted on 06/28/2012 8:57:18 PM PDT by Shellback Chuck
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To: VoiceOfBruck
all we have to do is look and see who sits in the Oval Office to see how much anything means. I am so disgusted with this nation's Representatives.. My American flag is coming down tomorrow. The flag I served will not fly until things change in this country and it could be a long time before my stars and stripes are flying again..I think a skull and cross bones would be the better flag flown these days.
31 posted on 06/28/2012 10:28:54 PM PDT by celtic gal
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks Lowell1775.


32 posted on 06/29/2012 1:37:50 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Perdogg

Good advice. I read them. Minority opinion asks my same question without a solution. How is it different? Justification by majority is fluff and banter. They uphold bad precedent. Factual lies like this do no harm they say.

A cow in fins does not a fish make as my drunken old rhetoric prof said ad nauseam. It has to be true as well as trendy. It must fortify the soul as well as please the ear.

Robert’s joined the libtards in this lawless modification of unwelcome reality as well.

They must feel God overstepped when He says lying is a sin. It is after all number 9 right after stealing, adultery, and murder...BUT man is so much smarter to rule differently. They correct God like a lower court.

It is just more contempt for what is holy, good, right and true by powdered capons and silken dandies. They revel and sin in the freedoms won by the blood of the heroes they mock.

We have become two nations. Divorce and dissolution is in the cards.


33 posted on 06/29/2012 6:12:27 AM PDT by Lowell1775
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To: sarasmom

I’m not trivializing this one bit. The written law is enforced by hired law enforcers who act as proxies for the people to enforce the written law. However, the written law itself is based on the unwritten “social sanctions” that exist in all times and places, if varying somewhat in content.

The social sanctions can change over time, or even be in conflict with the written law, but they will always win out in the end because the vast majority of the public are its enforcers, not the tiny number of LEOs or government workers.

A good example of a social sanction would be for an adult male to walk down a busy sidewalk in the US, wearing a t-shirt that says “I like to molest children”. In much of the US, he would not get far before at first getting a strong negative reaction from those individuals he encountered, with a high likelihood that he would be confronted by one or more of them.

A judge might say that it is his right to do so under the written law, but the social sanction says otherwise. And because it is so very powerful, eventually this individual would either not wear that t-shirt, or suffer the consequences, to include violence.

I wrote this to explain how very effective the social sanction can be, both in the case of flag burning, and now with Stolen Valor. Even the high and lofty Supreme Court of the United States might decree that individuals may burn flags to their hearts’ content, or steal valor. But the SCOTUS is not going to be out there on the street where the social sanctions are enforced.

Today, in much of the US, if some creep burns an American flag in public as part of a legal protest, there are many citizens who are inclined to punch him out. And there are many LEOs who will decline to arrest this citizen for doing so, and many juries who will not convict him, nor give monetary remuneration to the flag burner for his injuries in a subsequent lawsuit.

So it really doesn’t matter what the SCOTUS thinks.

And the same applies, perhaps even more so, to the enforcement of the social sanction about stealing valor, when it is done by veterans.

As a final note, it is unwise to assume that the “trash” at biker bars and honkeytonks are any the less patriotic than those in “polite” establishments. In fact, many of them are not just patriotic, but intensely patriotic. And I know of at least one motorcycle club whose membership is exclusively combat veterans, many of whom have decorations for valor.

For some fool to pretend valor in their presence would be beyond dangerous, as these are men of action, not legal niceties.


34 posted on 06/29/2012 7:34:16 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: Shellback Chuck

Former SEALs are intensely proud of their service, as they should be; however there are few situations where they are comfortable enough with the venue and the audience to discuss their unclassified life and times. It is just too exotic and alien for most people to appreciate.

However, I will not credit them with any grace when it comes to their skills at interior design. If you are fortunate enough to visit them at their home, their decor is blindingly and unabashedly SEAL, over about every square inch of vertical surface from the waist up. (The same rule applies to other elite warriors.)

I think perhaps the most tight lipped of all prior service military are boomer submariners. They will not speak of any element of their service to anyone. But SEALs have a classified life and an unclassified life, and while guarded in casual conversation, they are not handicapped by it.


35 posted on 06/29/2012 7:45:53 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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