Stolen Valor Struck Down, Now OK to Lie About Military Service
Do you agree with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that lying about military service is protected speech under the First Amendment?
In all the hoopla last week about the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare, the court's ruling on lying about military service slipped by almost unnoticed.
It turns out lying about being a police officer could land you in jail — lying about being a decorated war veteran, however, is not a problem.
In a 6 to 3 decision, the highest court in the land struck down a law adopted in 2005 by President George W. Bush that made it illegal to lie about military service. According to the L.A. Times, the dissenting judges were justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito. It was reported that while the lie might be “contemptible and worthy of outrage and ridicule,” it is protected by the First Amendment.
The law was challenged, now successfully, by Xavier Alvarez, a former member of the Three Valleys Municipal Water District Governing Board in Los Angeles County. He resigned from the board after being charged under the statute for fraudulently claiming to be a former Marine and recipient of the Medal of Honor. He was found to have never even served in the military.
What do you think about this ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court? Contemptible as the lie may be, do you believe it is protected by the First Amendment? And if so, what about lying about being a police officer — does that now risk a challenge under First Amendment protection?