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Stealing Valor is Not Yet a Federal Crime

Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 | Posted by Lizbeth Hasse, Esq. | Labels: ,

With all the clamor recently about some high-profile Supreme Court rulings– especially, those addressing immigration and healthcare legislation – one case about the exercise of First Amendment free speech rights received little public attention outside of the military communities. On June 28th, the Supreme Court ruled that the government does not have the power to punish individuals for lying about their receipt of military awards. Such a law, the majority said in a 6 to 3 decision, is an unconstitutional infringement of free speech.

The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 made it a crime for a person to falsely claim, orally or in writing, “to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States.” 

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