Skip to comments.Court tosses law about false claims on medals
Posted on 06/28/2012 6:34:36 PM PDT by Lowell1775
Court tosses law about false claims on medals
Published June 28, 2012
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 ...
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?
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.
His conviction may have been overturned,but Alvarez is still a POS.Even he knows what he is by now.
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.
So now outright fraud is protected speech.
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?
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.
Bring back DITHF.
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.
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.
This law had to be overturned otherwise Obama might be subjected to fraud charges regarding his birth certificate. /s
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.
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.
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.
“Barrys 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.
As far as I know, this guy didn't claim anything of (monetary) value...
...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.
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...?
Just wait ‘til I show up in DC in a black robe and tell everybody I’m a Sooooopreme Court Justice!
Thank you for serving!
Kerry must be doing the happy dance tonight.
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.
Why the /s? It's probably very close to the truth.
Even if he hadn't, I'd still argue that his mischaracterization of his military service and awards should have been criminal.
You have to ask yourself.... Has any current Supreme Justice served the armed forces.
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.
You know how to tell if a squid was a SEAL or not? If he was a SEAL he won’t mention it.
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.
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.
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.
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