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High court torn over law banning lie about medals
Seattle Times ^ | February 22, 2012 | Mark Sherman - AP

Posted on 02/22/2012 1:17:31 PM PST by jazusamo

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court appeared sharply divided Wednesday over a law that makes it a crime to lie about having been awarded top military honors.

The justices engaged in spirited debate over the constitutionality of a 2006 law aimed at curbing false claims about military exploits.

Some justices said they worried that upholding the Stolen Valor Act could lead to other limits on speech, including laws that might make it illegal to lie about an extramarital affair or a college degree, or to impress a date.

(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: scotus; stolenvalor

1 posted on 02/22/2012 1:17:38 PM PST by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

Heck, the president has lied about almost everything he’s (never) done...so how can we pick on other liars?


2 posted on 02/22/2012 1:23:03 PM PST by Da Coyote
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To: jazusamo

this law will be overturned..8 to 1 maybe 9-0....free speech is free speech..westboro and larry flynt have proved it


3 posted on 02/22/2012 1:23:42 PM PST by skaterboy (Hate=Love....Love=Hate)
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To: jazusamo
This is a beautiful illustration of the proposition that courts of law are inadequate blunt instruments in discerning matters of right and wrong.
4 posted on 02/22/2012 1:25:29 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: jazusamo

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals appears correct. I was momentarily distracted by pleasant speculations about sending elected officials to jail, but criminalizing even egregious lies is simply wrong by the First Amendment. However, profiting from lies in terms of power and money is wrong. In that case you have victims. The act does seem to recognize the link in findings by saying:

(2) Federal law enforcement officers have limited ability to prosecute fraudulent claims of receipt of military decorations and medals.

However, the act goes on to ignore fraud and make the statements by themselves criminal. I will speculate the problem resides with disinterest by law enforcement and district attorneys in establishing the linkages for acquisition of power and money, and prosecuting the resulting crimes.

I will also speculate that powerful constituencies have not altered their attitudes toward the military since Vietnam. I was popularly regarded as a deranged, drug addicted, baby killing, fascist, pig. Now my Marine son holds popular distinction as a despondent, mentally challenged, chemically dependent, cold blooded, killer. And if you think that characterization inaccurate consult, John Kerry, Jack Murtha, and the VA answering machine.

It is interesting to witness these claims of manly valor after the fact. A fellow veteran recently sent me an email reproducing an internet claim (Thank heavens for such irrefutable sources!) that from census records six or eight times as many claim service in Vietnam as actually did. Here is another reason to hold my Baby Boomer generation in contempt.

Text of S. 1998 [109th]: Stolen Valor Act of 2005
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s109-1998


5 posted on 02/22/2012 1:25:51 PM PST by Retain Mike
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To: jazusamo

Glad to see these jerks worrying about the gut issues of our time. When you get right down to it, the SCOTUS is a bunch of self-serving, lazy jerks whose love for “the law,” and its “wonderful nuances,” transcend doing anything meaningful for the country they all supposedly “love.” Their motus operandi, “let’s wait for a “really good case” before we do anything substantive, and then do less than it takes to resolve the issue.” Screw all of them!


6 posted on 02/22/2012 1:26:28 PM PST by vette6387
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To: Da Coyote

your right.. “I’m the king of the world” /sarc...


7 posted on 02/22/2012 1:31:03 PM PST by brivette
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To: Retain Mike

I would probably agree but I would have a very broad definition of ‘profitng’.


8 posted on 02/22/2012 1:32:14 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: jazusamo

I wonder if you lie on a job application about military service, whether, upon being fired, you can sue...


9 posted on 02/22/2012 1:32:40 PM PST by Sgt_Schultze (A half-truth is a complete lie)
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To: skaterboy

—this law will be overturned..8 to 1 maybe 9-0....free speech is free speech..westboro and larry flynt have proved it—

My take as well. In the US, it is legal to lie. It is protected by the constitution. Hey, did I ever tell you I’m George Bush (sr)?


10 posted on 02/22/2012 1:34:38 PM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: jazusamo

Don’t existing fraud laws cover this?


11 posted on 02/22/2012 1:36:15 PM PST by montag813
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To: jazusamo

“Some justices said they worried that upholding the Stolen Valor Act could lead to other limits on speech, including laws that might make it illegal to lie about an extramarital affair or a college degree, or to impress a date”

So it’s illegal to be an adulterer, but not to lie about?


12 posted on 02/22/2012 1:37:17 PM PST by Garvin (When it comes to my freedom, there will be no debate. There will be a fight)
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To: jazusamo

fraud is fraud is fraud - someone gains something of value by pretending to be something they are not, even if it is only the unjustifable respect and trust of someone else. Since when does freedom of speech permit commission of fraud? If this law does not stand, we have become a hopeless legal-pretzel of a nation groping in the dark to find our way.


13 posted on 02/22/2012 1:44:16 PM PST by RatRipper (I'll ride a turtle to work every day before I buy anything from Government Motors.)
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To: brivette; Da Coyote

And becuse he’s right about it I was awwarded 3 MOHs, 2 VCs, 2 Iron Crosses. </sac


14 posted on 02/22/2012 1:45:34 PM PST by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: jazusamo
including laws that might make it illegal to lie about an extramarital affair

Nice to see the Clinton appointees still have Bill's back /sarc.

15 posted on 02/22/2012 1:46:35 PM PST by al44
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To: hinckley buzzard
I both agree and disagree with you. It would be a far better thing that individual and public morality, in and of themselves precluded individuals from these types of lies, and the perpetrators of such would simply be ostracized by their associates. That would be desireable to any legislation.

Having said that, these misrepresentations are of a different order, and I can support the Stolen Valor Act for a number of reasons.

First, any military award or appointment has an extensive paper trail behind it with the names and signatures of recommending and approving authorities. To claim an award that one has not received is to (mis)represent a chain of official government documents that do not exist. It's tantamount to any forgery or alteration of official records.

Second, most fraud laws require an attempt to obtain something of monetary value. While valor in combat or general service to the nation may not be expressed in a quantifiable dollar amount, one would be hard pressed to argue they are not "of value." If you have a $5.00 bill in your wallet, that is a "recognition" that you provided another person with a good or service worth $5.00...or you stole it. That somebody wears a Silver Star should be recognition of their having provided the nation with a service worth a Silver Star...or they stole it.

Again, while it's impossible to directly equate a military award with a monetary value, "stolen valor" perpetrators are generally analogous to counterfeiters. Somebody passing a counterfeit $5.00 bill in effect, victimizes every person who has rightfully earned a $5.00 bill by slightly undercutting the recognized value of the real thing. In that same vein, if everybody at a bar, town hall, etc. shows up wearing a Navy Cross, those who have rightfully merited the award will be deprived of the honor and recognition to which they are entitled.

JMHO.

16 posted on 02/22/2012 1:47:38 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: montag813
As I understand it fraud laws cover this if any monetary value is received by the liar.

My question on this has been are votes considered monetary value if a liar is running for an office of some kind. This Alvarez was elected to a water board in Pomona, CA. By his lying about this after he was a board member be helpful to his reelection when it comes up and would that be considered a monetary value? I don't know.

17 posted on 02/22/2012 1:48:56 PM PST by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: RatRipper
Since when does freedom of speech permit commission of fraud?

If you apply for a job for which there is a veterans' preference in hiring, and lie about having served, that is fraud.

If you tell an acquaintance you were in combat in Vietnam when that's not true, sorry, that's not prosecutable as fraud. If it was, we might as well haul Bush Sr. into court for having said "no new taxes".

18 posted on 02/22/2012 1:49:39 PM PST by Notary Sojac (A liberal, a conservative, and a moderate walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Hi. Mitt!!".)
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To: RatRipper

That’s basically the way I feel about it.


19 posted on 02/22/2012 1:51:09 PM PST by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: skaterboy

Speaking of Westboro. I was wondering why is it that the Newark police could close off a 6 block radius for Whitney Houston’s funeral, but it is “unconstitutional” to prevent those evil nutjobs from harassing the families of heroes who died in combat, at their funerals?


20 posted on 02/22/2012 1:54:33 PM PST by Above My Pay Grade
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To: jazusamo

SCOTUS building more credibility and love for the law.


21 posted on 02/22/2012 1:59:00 PM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it. (plagiarized))
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To: Retain Mike
that from census records six or eight times as many claim service in Vietnam as actually did. Here is another reason to hold my Baby Boomer generation in contempt.

I had the misfortune of having worked for about 5 years with someone who said he was a Viet Nam vet. He may have been but I and two more co workers who were vets agreed, he talked about it way too much. We never caught him in an obvious lie nor did we really try but there wasn't a single day that went by when he was not talking about being a war vet.

My vet co workers and I got so sick of hearing about it that we avoided him at every opportunity.

I don't talk about my service, not because I wish to avoid it but because it just never comes up in conversation, with one exception, every year on the Sunday nearest Veteran's Day, our Pastor at our little church (attendance about 60 on Sundays) has every vet come up and stand in front of the congregation and the congregation passes by and shakes their hands and gives out hugs. Even at that he doesn't distinguish between war vets and peace time vets. I like it that way, if you served, you served. If you weren't called on to go to a war zone, so what? You were there and ready, if called.

22 posted on 02/22/2012 2:34:08 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Eccl 10 v. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.)
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To: Notary Sojac
If you tell an acquaintance you were in combat in Vietnam when that's not true, sorry, that's not prosecutable as fraud. If it was, we might as well haul Bush Sr. into court for having said "no new taxes".

I still don't have a problem with that being illegal and, on a stand alone basis, carrying a nominal fine as a penalty. And most prosecutors would decline to pursue it, which is OK with me. I do not mind the law going on record and identifying something like this as being egregious and dishonorable. But in your former case, it becomes a multiple charge with fraud that, rightfully, should cause the penalty to escalate significantly.

23 posted on 02/22/2012 2:34:49 PM PST by RatRipper (I'll ride a turtle to work every day before I buy anything from Government Motors.)
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To: Garvin
So it’s illegal to be an adulterer, but not to lie about?

Where is it illegal?

24 posted on 02/22/2012 2:36:36 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Eccl 10 v. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.)
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To: SandRat
And becuse he’s right about it I was awwarded 3 MOHs, 2 VCs, 2 Iron Crosses.

I'm thinking of returning my Good Conduct ribbon - I wasn't all that good.

(I had to cut your sarc tag, it was messing up my own HTML tags) first time I've seen that happen.

25 posted on 02/22/2012 2:40:04 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Eccl 10 v. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.)
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To: skaterboy

the day they rule that lies are protected free speech Bill Clinton will be popping the corks on some bubbly...


26 posted on 02/22/2012 2:50:56 PM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: jazusamo
I posted this and this to the original thread in 2010 about overturning the SVA.

Can I claim to have the Congressional Medal of Honor, or would that put me in contempt of Congress, since Congress awards the medal?

This ruling would suggest that it is okay for me to claim that Congress awarded me their highest honor, and that there is nothing that Congress can do about it.

===

What about the person who impersonates an officer? I think that isn't covered by the Stolen Valor Act (only applies to medals?). But if a person claims they were an officer when they never served, would that be contempt of Congress because Congress has the confirmation power for all officers of the United States (or the power to delegate to the Executive the confirmation of lesser officers)?

Wouldn't claiming to be an officer when one is not, in a way be saying that Congress confirmed the person to be an officer when Congress did not?

-PJ
27 posted on 02/22/2012 3:01:57 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you can vote for President, then your children can run for President.)
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To: Graybeard58

I like the idea that the pastor does not differentiate between wartime and peacetime vets, because the only difference is whether you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I like the definition of a veteran I see once in a while as someone who at a point in their life wrote a blank check payable to the government for everything they had up to and including their life.


28 posted on 02/22/2012 3:26:40 PM PST by Retain Mike
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To: GeronL

I agree. For example I think a strong case should exist for unjustly accumulating power and/or profit by falsifying a political or professional resume.


29 posted on 02/22/2012 3:33:31 PM PST by Retain Mike
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To: jazusamo

While I understand the Court’s dilemma, if they do NOT uphold the law, they are cheapening the service of millions of men and women who served their country honorably.


30 posted on 02/22/2012 3:36:41 PM PST by DustyMoment (Congress - Another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: jazusamo

Lies regarding honors and credentials enable one to gain money one/or benefits that they otherwise would not receive. Such action is perpetration of fraud and is criminal.


31 posted on 02/22/2012 3:49:09 PM PST by Lion Den Dan
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To: Graybeard58

North Carolina


32 posted on 02/22/2012 4:05:41 PM PST by Garvin (When it comes to my freedom, there will be no debate. There will be a fight)
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To: RatRipper

They strain at gnats.

How about I put on a bunch of Police decorations and make myself look like a retired policeman in order to gain advantages in whatever endevor I choose.

To try and defend this fraud by calling it free speech is insane. It is a very well defined issue. If you put on Decorations and pretend to be a hero in order to gain something, most often political office, it should be very easy for any sane person to say that is wrong.

Of course they have already ruled that is is ok for politicians to lie sigh.....

Lawyers, I hate them all, except Perry Mason, the character not the man.


33 posted on 02/23/2012 12:01:08 PM PST by itsahoot (Much easier to tear down a building, than to build one. Bigger mess though.)
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To: Above My Pay Grade
Speaking of Westboro. I was wondering why is it that the Newark police could close off a 6 block radius for Whitney Houston’s funeral, but it is “unconstitutional” to prevent those evil nutjobs from harassing the families of heroes who died in combat, at their funerals?

Actually, protesters like WBC are required in most jurisdictions to obtain a permit to demonstrate. In granting the permit, the controlling authority has discretion over where the demonstration may occur. In my experiences dealing with WBC, most times these locations are far enough away so the families can be easily shielded from those idiots. And, since requests for permits are public records, we always know in advance when and where they will be protesting. Makes our job much easier.
34 posted on 02/23/2012 12:18:02 PM PST by rottndog (Freedom IS NOT FREE...NEVER FORGET those that have paid its' highest price!)
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To: jazusamo; Lurking Libertarian; JDW11235; Clairity; TheOldLady; Spacetrucker; Art in Idaho; ...
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

FReepmail me to subscribe to or unsubscribe from the SCOTUS ping list.

35 posted on 02/26/2012 2:40:53 PM PST by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Graybeard58
I'm thinking of returning my Good Conduct ribbon - I wasn't all that good.

I've always referred to mine as my Didn't Get Caught ribbon. :=)

36 posted on 02/26/2012 2:47:26 PM PST by Bob
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To: jazusamo

Very well. Let’s simply define beating the crap out of a fake “war-hero” as protected speech under the First Amendment.


37 posted on 02/26/2012 2:58:43 PM PST by Grizzled Bear (No More RINOS!)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

DD-214.

Social liars out themselves.


38 posted on 02/26/2012 3:10:51 PM PST by Jacquerie (No court will save us from ourselves.)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Well said! I would add that those who make these false claims often behave reprehensibly. They tarnish the reputation and good names of genuine decorated service members.

This should also be considered when debating the legality of their actions.

39 posted on 02/26/2012 3:15:16 PM PST by Grizzled Bear (No More RINOS!)
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To: Da Coyote

So everyone in jail for perjury must be set free an their records purged ..... ?

Stay safe...


40 posted on 03/01/2012 5:14:51 AM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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