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The United States Supreme Court, on Monday, announced that they would be listening to a problem to the Stolen Valor Act. The Stolen Valor Act at issue in the lawsuit is intended to defend military awards, but could violate First Amendment rights.
Source for this article: Supreme Court agrees to hear arguments about Stolen Valor Act
The Stolen Valor Act explained
The beginning of the Stolen Valor Act was in 2005 when it was introduced. In 2006, it was signed into law. The law makes it a federal crime to "falsely represent oneself as having obtained any United States military decoration or honor." Initially, it was meant to prevent people from lying. They should not be saying things occurred in military service that did not. There are more than 200 times as several individuals claiming to have received the Medal of Honor than there are Honor of Honor recipients.
How the constitution is included
The Stolen Valor Act brings up many debates. There's a lot of government support though. Several courts have ruled the Stolen Valor Act to be unconstitutional because it targets a type of speech only because it is untrue. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear this question and issue a final ruling on the constitutionality of the regulation in the case United States v. Alvarez. The case is about Xavier Alvarez that said he served in the Marines but pleaded guilty with the Stolen Valor Act as a former Water Board member in south Pomona, California.
The primary constitutional question at issue in United States v. Alvarez is the main difference between a lie and fraud. Fraud is an action towards another person. In it, someone else is harmed in some way. The only time that a lie is prosecuted, usually, is when an individual signs an affidavit for information or if an individual is under oath. It is only illegal to lie if a person promises legally to tell the truth.
Contemplate the constitution
Lies that do not fall under perjury or fraud statues have, in the past, been protected by the First Amendment. This involves protections for all speech that is inappropriate. That means you can say anything you need, even if it makes people angry, due to the Amendment. This speech that the Stolen Valor Act covers is not included in any of these categories. It will be up to the Supreme Court to decide if lying about military service is, in fact, constitutionally protected or not.
MetNews: http://www.metnews.com/articles/2011/alva101811.htm Global Post: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/111017/stolen-valor-act-unconstitutional-supreme-court-military-medal USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/judicial/story/2011-10-17/supreme-court-medal-lies/50802628/1 The State News: http://www.statenews.com/index.php/article/2011/03/first_amendment_still_protects_lies