Supreme Court Overturns Stolen Valor Act

The court on Thursday voted 6-3 to reject a law that made it a crime to lie about winning war medals.

In all the excitement Thursday over the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Obama's health care law, another important ruling went mostly unnoticed.

The court overturned a contentious federal law that makes it illegal to lie about being awarded medals of war.

The court voted 6-3 Thursday to overturn the Stolen Valor Act, saying that while it's "contemptible" for someone to lie about receiving military service medals, uttering such lies is protected by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment right of free speech.

The Stolen Valor Act was enacted by Congress in 2006 and in 2007 it was put to the test in a case arising in Southern California when a local official lied in a public meeting about being a decorated war veteran. He was charged under the act and his lawyer admitted the lie, but said the official's speech was constitutionally protected.

the man June 30, 2012 at 11:31 AM
This court is contemptable and that is no lie.
Patricia Longo June 30, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Dick Blumenthal must be breathing a sigh of relief.
Franklin Wong June 30, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Yeah, imagine if we started making laws punishing those who lie in public. Imagine, if there were laws punishing public officials for lying. If punishable by fine, we could erase the national debt. Hopefully, there would be no imprisonment...not enough prison space.


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