Stolen Valor Act = Unconstitutional?

wwhwangwwhwang Ottawa, ON, CanadaPosts: 2,878 ✭✭✭
Denver, CO - District Judge Blackburn ruled that the Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional and threw out Rick Strandlof's case on grounds that it violates freedom of speech. The Stolen Valor Act is a law that makes lying about military service and earning medals and honors, especially for profit and benefits, punishable up to a year in jail. Rick Strandlof claimed to be an ex-Marine with a Purple Heart and Silver Star for attention and money. However, no military branch has any records of Rick Strandlof ever serving.

Every year, there are hundreds of war hero imposters giving speeches and attending benefits for personal benefit, attention, and money. Would this ruling encourage even more imposters to pop up? You decide.

News article is at http://www.military.com/news/article/judge-rules-stolen-valor-act-illegal--.html?ESRC=dod.nl

Comments

  • Jetmech_63Jetmech_63 Posts: 3,454 ✭✭✭
    Eh, I can see both sides. The freedom of speech thing is sticky. I think(kuzi, correct me on this) freedom of speech protects us to stand on a street corner and say we were higher ranking and more qualified than General Patton even if we dont know which end of and M-16 is up. But to falsify records, verbal or written for the purpose of personal gain is illegal....i just cant think of the proper word for it....google is no help at the moment either. As heinous and despicable as it is to impersonate one of our honored veterans....i think you can until you cross into the arena of personal gain.

    On a separate semi-related note. I used to live in Virginia Beach VA. The boardwalk was covered with signs that said there would be a fine imposed for using profanity. Ok, i get it, families, young kids....it is improper and socially unacceptable to be dropping the f-bomb like its cool in certain situatons. But lets boild this down to the ground floor....there as a place in America....where you can be FINED....by the state government.....for speaking a certain st of words......i'm not cool with that. And it's not the same thing as saying bomb on an airplane....
  • docbp87docbp87 Posts: 3,521
    Totally agree. It seems that the real issue is that the false claims are essentially being used to commit fraud, which is most definitely a crime.
  • wwesternwwestern Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭
    Colorado can still quote the constitution?
  • ThewelderThewelder Posts: 682 ✭✭
    It is called FRAUD AND IS BULLSH!T!!! It takes away from the real hereos that actually earned the awards and the ability to call themselves US Servicemen.
  • cabinetmakercabinetmaker Posts: 2,561
    I think I'll call myself a democratic US congressman, see if I can get away with tax fraud...
  • cabinetmakercabinetmaker Posts: 2,561
    cabinetmaker:
    I think I'll call myself a democratic US congressman, see if I can get away with tax fraud...
    Oh, wait, I'd need to be an obama appointee...
  • LeoJJLeoJJ Posts: 1
    While reading this thread I remembered the latest news on this issue, Supreme Court agrees to hear arguments about Stolen Valor Act. The Supreme Court will be hearing disputes in the suit of U.S. vs. Alvarez. The free speech protections of the First Amendment may be violated by the Stolen Valor Act. If this is the suit, then the law, intended to defend military awards, might actually be unconstitutional.


  • MTuccelliMTuccelli Posts: 2,629 ✭✭✭
    Only in American can you lie to gain stature among your peers and get away with it because you are protected under the 1st Amendment. So I or anyone should be able to exercise our 1st Amendment rights and make a bold statement by kicking this guys ASS!

  • howtobasshowtobass Posts: 589
    MTuccelli:
    Only in American can you lie to gain stature among your peers and get away with it because you are protected under the 1st Amendment. So I or anyone should be able to exercise our 1st Amendment rights and make a bold statement by kicking this guys ASS!

    +1 HERE, HERE!
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    wwestern:
    Colorado can still quote the constitution?
    Good one wwestern. Some of us still read it and appreciate that it is the framework by which we are SUPPOSED to be governed.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,771 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't see how openly commiting fraud for profit, whether monetary or personal advancement, can be protected as freedom of speech. This makes no sense. The sensible recourse, to me, is that any and all funds or positions obtained in such a case should be re-imbursed to those defrauded, the position forfeited and all salary recompensed. Jail time? Waste of time, take 'em down, take back the cash, point and laugh.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 7,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yeah it's pretty despicable. There should definately be some kind of punishment for this. But as Over crowded as our jails are I think justice would be better served by some sort of community service. Maybe something involving cleaning up crap.
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