Skip to comments.High court torn over law banning lie about medals
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 ...
SCOTUS building more credibility and love for the law.
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.
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.
Where is it illegal?
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.
the day they rule that lies are protected free speech Bill Clinton will be popping the corks on some bubbly...
Can I claim to have the Congressional Medal of Honor, or would that put me in contempt of Congress, since Congress awards the medal?-PJ
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FReepmail me to subscribe to or unsubscribe from the SCOTUS ping list.
I've always referred to mine as my Didn't Get Caught ribbon. :=)
Very well. Let’s simply define beating the crap out of a fake “war-hero” as protected speech under the First Amendment.
Social liars out themselves.
This should also be considered when debating the legality of their actions.
So everyone in jail for perjury must be set free an their records purged ..... ?