Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Odd Challenge: Lying, is it constitutionally protected?
One News Now ^ | 2/4/2010 | Chad Groening

Posted on 02/04/2010 1:16:04 PM PST by AstroTurf _Queen

An organization dedicated to honoring the nation's prisoners of war and missing in action service members is outraged that a federal law against lying about military medals is facing First Amendment challenges. Lawyers in California and Colorado cases have made similar arguments against the "Stolen Valor Act," saying that lying is protected by the First Amendment unless it does real harm.

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


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: firstamendment; freespeech; lying; phonysoldiers; pow; stolenvalor; stolenvaloract; veterans; welcometofr
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-93 next last
Wow, a new low!
1 posted on 02/04/2010 1:16:04 PM PST by AstroTurf _Queen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

Well, if you take the “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” out of the courtroom, then ok, I guess /sarc


2 posted on 02/04/2010 1:17:11 PM PST by P.O.E. (Giant Gila Monster)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen
Lying, is it constitutionally protected?

Must be...Obama couldn't tell the truth if his life depended on it!

3 posted on 02/04/2010 1:20:09 PM PST by broken_arrow1 (I regret that I have but one life to give for my country - Nathan Hale "Patriot")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

Of course it is, or should be. Because you would not want Obama or John Kerry decided what is “true,” would you?

Dissent against Global Warming? You’re a liar, and go to jail.

Say John Kerry got fake medals? You’re a liar, and go to jail?

Say a fetus is a child? You’re a liar, and go to jail.

Etc.

Lies must be protected, for fear of who judges what is true.

Now, if someone cons someone by lying (e.g., gets government benefits), well, that’s fraud, and a completely different story.


4 posted on 02/04/2010 1:20:25 PM PST by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen
saying that lying is protected by the First Amendment unless it does real harm.

Commerical fraud, perjury, treason, libel, slander, and inciting a riot are all examples of speech that is not protected by the 1st Amendment.

5 posted on 02/04/2010 1:22:47 PM PST by a fool in paradise ("like it or not, we have to have a financial system that is healthy and functioning" Obama 2/4/2010)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

If liars want to wear medals they didn’t earn, I guess it should be OK if James O’Keefe and his partners dress up as phone repairmen.


6 posted on 02/04/2010 1:23:06 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jewbacca

That is a good point you make. If a lie is not the truth, then exactly who is it who determines what is true and what is not, what is a lie and what is not?


7 posted on 02/04/2010 1:24:08 PM PST by pray4liberty (Luke 21:17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

What about the phony soldiers who serve in the anti-American war movement who did not serve in the US military and give false accounts at rallies of witnessing warcrimes?


8 posted on 02/04/2010 1:24:21 PM PST by a fool in paradise ("like it or not, we have to have a financial system that is healthy and functioning" Obama 2/4/2010)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

Wow... How can he actually try to challenge this? Making false claims about receiving such honors is essentially fraud. Does this guy think slander/libel should be ok too?


9 posted on 02/04/2010 1:24:22 PM PST by Svartalfiar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

So does that mean I can now perjure myself in court or give a false statement to a police officer or misreport my income to the IRS, so long as it “does no harm”?


10 posted on 02/04/2010 1:24:57 PM PST by Question Liberal Authority ("My...health care plan is a Bolshevik plot... which will destroy America." - Barack Obama)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

Not surprising coming from California and Colorado. “Stolen Valor” should also be applied to military service, not just medals. I’ve met so many posers, usually Lefties pushing an anti-war position.

Had a guy at the office who presented himself as a former Naval officer. I had my suspicions, but since I was Army I didn’t know the intricacies of the Navy. My boyfriend exposed this guy when the claim of service on a type of vessel that doesn’t bear the kind of name he stated. I laid a trap and he fell right in. From that time he knew that he had been exposed,and that there was only contempt for his actions. I should have gone to our owner, but didn’t. The poser was soon fired anyway. Can’t figure out why he’d do such a thing.


11 posted on 02/04/2010 1:27:42 PM PST by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

I didn’t think anyone would stoop this low, but obviously I underestimated humanity.


12 posted on 02/04/2010 1:27:52 PM PST by bigbob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

I believe the Constitution protects your right to speak, however, it doesn’t protect you from the consequences of choosing the wrong words, such as fraud, libel, slander, threats, etc.


13 posted on 02/04/2010 1:28:20 PM PST by mnehring
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

Admiral Boorda must be turning over in his grave.

He committed suicide over a combat V device on a Bronze Star that he was not entitled to wear back when he was CNO.

Of course, he was active Navy at the time, different rules.


14 posted on 02/04/2010 1:28:50 PM PST by Calvinist_Dark_Lord ((I have come here to kick @$$ and chew bubblegum...and I'm all outta bubblegum! ~Roddy Piper))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

In a court after a person has been sworn in, NO


15 posted on 02/04/2010 1:29:42 PM PST by GraceG
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Svartalfiar

If a person puts on such a pretense in order to get advancement in public office or private, it’s a substantial fraud and deserves notice of the law.


16 posted on 02/04/2010 1:30:40 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Joe 6-pack

Repairmen are not in the same catagory as service members. O’Keefe and his crew used an undercover journalistic tactic. His actions were not to defraud someone, but to expose the truth. Big difference.

former Sgt, US Army (1976-1984


17 posted on 02/04/2010 1:30:55 PM PST by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

>>saying that lying is protected by the First Amendment unless it does real harm.
>
>Commerical fraud, perjury, treason, libel, slander, and inciting a riot are all examples of speech that is not protected by the 1st Amendment.

Treason, as defined by the Constitution, would be hard to do by simply speaking.


18 posted on 02/04/2010 1:31:19 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

So I guess it would be Consitutionally protected for me to claim that I was a lawyer. Or a judge.

I’m a supreme court justice!


19 posted on 02/04/2010 1:31:19 PM PST by chrisser (Starve the Monkeys!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

It is not the lying in itself that is the issue. The underlying issue is fraud. The lying is done in order to obtain some intangible or tangible benefit of being considered a war hero. That is fraud. Not protected free speech.


20 posted on 02/04/2010 1:32:24 PM PST by Truth is a Weapon (Truth, it hurts soooo good!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

The problem I have with the act is that it hard to qualifiy when a law has been actually broken. We do have laws against fraud already.


21 posted on 02/04/2010 1:33:02 PM PST by Perdogg ("Is that a bomb in your pants, or are you excited to come to America?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jewbacca

The Ministry of Truth must decide what is and isn’t the Truth..................


22 posted on 02/04/2010 1:34:40 PM PST by Red Badger (Education makes people easy to lead, difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: oneamericanvoice
I was being sarcastic in an effort ot point out the hypocrisy of the left. By some accounts, dressing as a phone repairman and walking into a senator's office is as egregious an offense as has ever been committed on American soil, yet some poseur wearing a Medal of Honor should be ok, because lying is protected speech.
23 posted on 02/04/2010 1:34:44 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

That explains Michael Mann.


24 posted on 02/04/2010 1:35:32 PM PST by Tribune7 (Obama Is An Obstructionist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Truth is a Weapon

If we have laws against fraud, why do we need another law?


25 posted on 02/04/2010 1:36:07 PM PST by Perdogg ("Is that a bomb in your pants, or are you excited to come to America?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen
Lying is fraud. Fraud is a crime.

Next question.

26 posted on 02/04/2010 1:37:14 PM PST by Dead Corpse (III, Oathkeeper)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Joe 6-pack
I am not saying it should be protected speech, I just don't want yet another law. If someone commits fraud, we have laws on the book to prosecute.
27 posted on 02/04/2010 1:37:36 PM PST by Perdogg ("Is that a bomb in your pants, or are you excited to come to America?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: OneWingedShark

Mildred Gillars, known popularly as “Axis Sally” (although she did not use that name on the air), was convicted of treason in WWII for a radio broadcast (a work of fiction no less). She wasn’t being charged for working for the Nazis in GENERAL or broadcasting on Nazi radio. It was the content of the broadcast.


28 posted on 02/04/2010 1:38:24 PM PST by a fool in paradise ("like it or not, we have to have a financial system that is healthy and functioning" Obama 2/4/2010)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen
unless it does real harm

And it seems to me that it ought to be up to the legislative process as to what constitutes real harm.

29 posted on 02/04/2010 1:38:26 PM PST by Tribune7 (Obama Is An Obstructionist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dead Corpse

Lying is not legal fraud. Lying is one element in fraud that has to be met in order to prosecute someone on the basis of fraud.


30 posted on 02/04/2010 1:38:55 PM PST by Perdogg ("Is that a bomb in your pants, or are you excited to come to America?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: broken_arrow1

Ask him. He’s a constitutional law expert(or so he says) LOL


31 posted on 02/04/2010 1:39:03 PM PST by lakeman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: chrisser
Photobucket
32 posted on 02/04/2010 1:40:45 PM PST by Canedawg (Our government has become a travesty.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: oneamericanvoice

John Kerry claims he has a hat to show he served in “special forces”.


33 posted on 02/04/2010 1:41:34 PM PST by a fool in paradise ("like it or not, we have to have a financial system that is healthy and functioning" Obama 2/4/2010)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg
"I am not saying it should be protected speech, I just don't want yet another law. If someone commits fraud, we have laws on the book to prosecute."

Oh...I think we have a multitude of unecessary laws on the books that need to be repealed. IMHO, the Stolen Valor Act isn't one of them.

34 posted on 02/04/2010 1:42:58 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

If someone receives some tangible benefit from lying about the service( speaking fee....free room or board, etc.) then there is already a law.

If someone wears a uniform or decoration on that uniform or on civilian attire s/he is not suppose to wear, then there are laws dealing with that, also.

But as disgusting as it is to lie about being a hero (I spent most of 1970 in Vietnam, by the way), just telling a lie about service or winning medals should not get someone thrown into jail...IMHO...

To me it is akin to the thought police realm or the hate crime concept..


35 posted on 02/04/2010 1:44:36 PM PST by Ecliptic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Joe 6-pack

so if a guy is in a bar downtown telling a couple chicks he was in Iraq fighting OBL we should send in the police to investigate whether or not he is telling the truth?


36 posted on 02/04/2010 1:46:59 PM PST by Perdogg ("Is that a bomb in your pants, or are you excited to come to America?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg
"so if a guy is in a bar downtown telling a couple chicks he was in Iraq fighting OBL we should send in the police to investigate whether or not he is telling the truth?"

If he's wearing a Silver Star that he didn't earn, yes.

37 posted on 02/04/2010 1:48:34 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

I just want to know if lying in the State of the Union by president is constitutional protected?

If you recall liberals did not seem to think so with regard to Bush’s “16 words” (all of which were proven to be true), yet nobody seems to mind when Obama lies to the people and congress in the State of the Union in so many easily verifiable ways. Such as the no lobbies statement, among a great many other such “false” statements.


38 posted on 02/04/2010 1:53:30 PM PST by Monorprise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pray4liberty

“If a lie is not the truth, then exactly who is it who determines what is true and what is not, what is a lie and what is not?”

Bingo.

Don’t doubt for a second FreeRepublic would not be shut down by Obama Brownshirts because it’s “all lies.”


39 posted on 02/04/2010 1:53:34 PM PST by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Dead Corpse

“Lying is fraud. Fraud is a crime.”

Incorrect.

Fraud means: (1) intentionally lie; (2) with the intent to defraud; (3) trick someone (reliance on the lie) and (4) cause damage by the lie.

If someone is just a faker without intent to get something (e.g., vet benefits, job, etc), then it’s not fraud.


40 posted on 02/04/2010 1:56:02 PM PST by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Joe 6-pack

What if it wasn’t a silver star per se but some medal that looked like one, maybe a foreign medal, is he in violation of the law?


41 posted on 02/04/2010 1:57:46 PM PST by Perdogg ("Is that a bomb in your pants, or are you excited to come to America?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

So long as cops & politicians are Constitutionally allowed to lie to achieve the ends they seek, everyone else is too.


42 posted on 02/04/2010 1:59:12 PM PST by ctdonath2 (Pelosi is practically President; the Obama is just her talk show host.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AstroTurf _Queen

Depends on the kind of lie. Slander, libel and fraud are all legally actionable forms of lies, all long established in legal principle.

Claiming a false badge of honor is usually not an actionable fraud, as no one bears a direct harm from it. Hurt feelings are not legally actionable of themselves.

If some one uses a claim of a badge of honor to gain some direct benefit — a job, a position, a share in some enterprise, and that claim is false there may be an actionable harm.

Do you really want to add to the burden of law and regulation? Let social scorn be the cure.


43 posted on 02/04/2010 2:01:28 PM PST by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

>Mildred Gillars, known popularly as “Axis Sally” (although she did not use that name on the air), was convicted of treason in WWII for a radio broadcast (a work of fiction no less). She wasn’t being charged for working for the Nazis in GENERAL or broadcasting on Nazi radio. It was the content of the broadcast.

Was it particularly easy for her to be convected thusly? The Wikipeda article on her says she was convicted on only one charge of treason, meaning that there were multiple charges.

Also, while not impossible, from the Constitutional definition.. it seems there is some elasticity in it; John Murtha pronounced on national television that our marines were murderers and war-criminals (this has been well recorded) and yet not only has no charge of treason been made of him, but the courts ruled that he was covered under a law protecting federal employees from civil-suits and thus protected/immunized from the charges of slander that said marines were/are making.


44 posted on 02/04/2010 2:02:51 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Jewbacca
Split another legal hair.

If you lie to someone, you are committing fraud.

Whether or not it is a criminal offense is up to whatever remains of our "justice" system.

45 posted on 02/04/2010 2:02:54 PM PST by Dead Corpse (III, Oathkeeper)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Joe 6-pack

Why stop there? Shouldn’t we add every little things that is wrong somehow to the law and force the police to enforce it? Picking noses -— that’s wrong. Let’s make it a felony!


46 posted on 02/04/2010 2:04:07 PM PST by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Dead Corpse

A lie is not a fraud. To be a fraud there must be a transfer of real value gained or lost by the lie.


47 posted on 02/04/2010 2:06:27 PM PST by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

Way off topic but on your About Page you refer to the whack job Biden did on Clarence Thomas.

If you haven’t already, you might enjoy reading John Bolton’s “Surrender is not an Option”. He speaks of Biden’s activities as chair of the Judiciary Committee and observes with regard to the Bork hearing that even after receiving assurance from Biden to the contrary, “…the Democrats treated it as a political process and the Republicans treated it as a confirmation hearing, which is why they lost.”

The phrase “duplicitous weasel” immediately comes to mind.


48 posted on 02/04/2010 2:07:14 PM PST by frog in a pot (It's a myth, folks. The frog will jump out and he will be pi$$ed. Ever had big warts?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg
"What if it wasn’t a silver star per se but some medal that looked like one, maybe a foreign medal, is he in violation of the law?"

As I understand the act (without going back and looking at the text) he's fine. I understand your point about enforcing existing fraud laws, but here's where I see a difference. US military awards and decorations are bestowed upon individuals in recognition of their individual service to the nation. In some cases the award may be of very direct and tangible value...i.e. a job application, where misrepresenting one's military awards would be tantamount to to misrepresenting academic degrees.

Above and beyond that, a service award is symbolic of the nation's gratitude and a recognition that the individual is entitled to a degree of that, albeit a non-tangible or unquantifiable entity. To allow others to partake in that credit without merit undermines the value to the one who earned, and "victimizes" the nation at large by lowering the value of gratitude or recognition. By enforcing against the misrepresentation, the level of esteem concomitant to the award is preserved.

49 posted on 02/04/2010 2:08:11 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: bvw
Awful lot of people here would rather split the infinite hair via legal definitions rather than get down to substance.

If you lie, you are committing fraud. This is my OPINION based on my own personal PHILOSOPHY. Where that fraud crosses into civil or criminal statutes I would assume varies depending on which State you live in.

I'm sorry I have to spell that out like that. If I was quoting a legal statute, I would have posted references.

Can we get over it now? Please?

50 posted on 02/04/2010 2:10:52 PM PST by Dead Corpse (III, Oathkeeper)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-93 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson