Court’s Ruling On Stolen Valor Act Stirs Anger
I really do get the First Amendment. I believe in the Freedom of Speech. I just don't understand how the court voted 6 to 3 to say the Stolen Valor Act of 2006 infringes on free speech, but they did. They struck down a the law that makes it a crime to lie about military service. The new act, rewritten in 2011, call the Stolen Valor Act of 2011 lets you say (lie) about any military service you want, but you can't benefit monetarily or any other way by making fake claims.
Iraq, targeted those who made bogus claims about receiving the Medal of Honor or other military decorations. The retooled Stolen Valor Act of 2011 wouldn't stop barroom boasting about bogus service, but would take aim at people who benefit financially or otherwise from their phony claims.
Fox News reports, “Now that the Supreme Court has laid down this marker, I will be pushing for a vote on a version of the Stolen Valor Act that will pass constitutional scrutiny,” said Representative Joe Heck, a Republican from Nevada and a colonel in the Army Reserves.
I hope they are successful. It just breaks my heart to think that anyone would lie to anyone else about being one of our brave men and women in service. It's like slapping the face of a veteran or slapping the face of a person who lost their husband, wife, son, daughter, bother or whomever to military service. I know that we have the right to say anything we want in America barring anything that might spur someone to commit violence, but wow, now the Supreme Court says it's okay to go ahead and lie. Maybe at least the new law will put a stop to the liars who profit from it, but what about the liars, who do just that, lie. They don't benefit financially, but they benefit by telling a lie, and now the court says that is okay. It just makes me so sad, and we all know that people will do it. Now, it will be up to all of us to find out when people lie about their service, it's the only way we can stop these types of liars.
The 2006 case was about Xavier Alvarez, a former California elected official who lied about being a decorated war veteran. He pleaded guilty to violating the 2006 law. Fox News reports that, "Justice Anthony Kennedy, who authored the opinion, noted that "few might find respondent's statements anything but contemptible," but said there was no evidence to suggest that Alvarez received anything in exchange for his claims. What about love, respect, admiration from people in the community? Doesn't that count for anything? I think it does.
The new law, if it passes Congress, would make someone who breaks the law subject to up to one year in jail for the misdemeanor offense of lying about serving in a combat zone, serving with special operations force or being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Other criminals would have to pay a fine or face up to six months in jail. I hope that is passes, and I hope people who lie about service get the book thrown at them. I only wish that the penalties would be greater.