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Appeals court: Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional

LaMidRighter

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Story is here:
washingtonpost.com

The decision involves the case of Xavier Alvarez of Pomona, Calif., a water district board member who said at a public meeting in 2007 that he was a retired Marine who received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration.
He pleaded guilty on condition that he be allowed to appeal on First Amendment grounds. He was sentenced under the Stolen Valor Act to more than 400 hours of community service at a veterans hospital and fined $5,000.
Un****ingbelievable, seriously this is a slap in the face to anyone who served with honor, because of these assclowns in the 9th circuit now everyone can be a Medal of Honor recipient apparently.

The majority said there's no evidence that such lies harm anybody, and there's no compelling reason for the government to ban such lies.
Seriously?!?!?!? Really!!!!!? Fraud, perjury, and other untruths that embellish a record and taint the service of those who EARNED a medal harm NO ONE? REALLY?

I haven't served personally but have plenty of family and friends who did with honor, everyone should be offended by this defense of unprotected speech by the most idiotic court in the land and these judges should be removed for gross incompetance. This is disgusting.
 

stealthy

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Hopefully the 9th Circus will be overturned again.
 

Renae

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Story is here:
washingtonpost.com



Un****ingbelievable, seriously this is a slap in the face to anyone who served with honor, because of these assclowns in the 9th circuit now everyone can be a Medal of Honor recipient apparently.

Seriously?!?!?!? Really!!!!!? Fraud, perjury, and other untruths that embellish a record and taint the service of those who EARNED a medal harm NO ONE? REALLY?

I haven't served personally but have plenty of family and friends who did with honor, everyone should be offended by this defense of unprotected speech by the most idiotic court in the land and these judges should be removed for gross incompetance. This is disgusting.
Why should the Gov't protect Babykillers anyway?








(that's sarcasm for you rio linda folks)
 

stealthy

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Do they even understand what valor is, or is that a foreign concept?
 

LaMidRighter

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Hopefully the 9th Circus will be overturned again.
The logic behind it was what really got me. They called fraud and perjury free speech issues, maybe if they were to do a little research they would find that defamation, fraud, perjury, and immenently dangerous language is outside any protections of the first amendment of the U.S. constitution. Obscenity is somewhat protected, as are "lesser" forms of speech, but deliberate falsehood is not. I just cannot wrap my head around the decision.
 

Crunch

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Appeals court rules Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional

By Bill Mears, CNNAugust 18, 2010 1:13 p.m. EDT
Washington (CNN) -- Lying about military honors is not a crime, a federal appeals court has ruled, tossing out the prosecution of a California public official who falsely claimed to have won the prestigious Medal of Honor.

The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 there was inadequate "compelling governmental interest" when Congress passed the Stolen Valor Act in 2006.

Xavier Alvarez had won a seat on the Three Valley Water District Board of Directors in 2007, and at his first open meeting claimed to be a retired Marine who won the Medal of Honor in 1987. The highest military decoration awarded by the U.S. government is sometimes mistakenly called the Congressional Medal of Honor. "I got wounded many times by the same guy," Alvarez declared, according to court records. "I'm still around."

While the three-judge panel ruled Alvarez's free speech rights were violated, they showed little sympathy for his actions, calling them "nothing but a series of bizarre lies."

"We have no doubt that society would be better off if Alvarez would stop spreading worthless, ridiculous, and offensive untruths," the panel concluded in its ruling, handed down Tuesday. "But, given our historical skepticism of permitting the government to police the line between truth and falsity, and between valuable speech and drivel, we preemptively protect all speech, including false statements, in order that clearly protected speech may flower in the shelter of the First Amendment."
Appeals court rules Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional - CNN.com

And people wonder why the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has the reputation for being over ruled?

The Stolen Valor Act of 2005, signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 20, 2006,[1] is a U.S. law that broadens the provisions of previous U.S. law addressing the unauthorized wear, manufacture, sale or claim (either written or oral) of any military decorations and medals. It is a federal misdemeanor offense, which carries a punishment of imprisonment for no more than 1 year and/or a fine; the scope previously covered only the Medal of Honor.

The Act was first introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 19, 2005, by Representative John Salazar, a Democrat from Colorado, as H.R. 3352.[2][3] It was introduced into the Senate by Senator Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota, on November 10, 2005, as S. 1998.[4][5] The Senate version was passed unanimously on September 7, 2006.[5][6] The Senate version then went to the same House Judiciary Committee that held the House version. The Act briefly stalled, but the House subsequently passed the Senate version, S. 1998, on December 6, 2006.[7]

The purpose of the Act is to strengthen the provisions of federal law (18 U.S.C. § 704[8]) by broadening its scope and strengthening penalties. Specific new provisions in the Act include: granting more authority to Federal law enforcement officers, extending scope beyond the Medal of Honor; broadening the law to cover false claims whereas previously an overt act had to be committed; covering, mailing, and shipping of medals; and protecting the reputation and meaning of military heroism medals.[3][5] Under the act, it is illegal for unauthorized persons to wear, buy, sell, barter, trade or manufacture "any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States, or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces." In the 18 months after the act was enacted, the Chicago Tribune estimates 20 prosecutions. The number is increasing as awareness about the law spreads.[9]

The Act was likely passed to address the issue of persons claiming to have been awarded military awards for which they were not entitled, and exploiting their deception for personal gain. For example, as of June 2, 2006, there were only 120 living Medal of Honor recipients, but there were far more known imposters.[10][11][12] There are also large numbers of fake Navy SEALS[13][14] and Army Special Forces,[15] among others.
Stolen Valor Act of 2005 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Coronado

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Re: Appeals court rules Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional

Appeals court rules Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional - CNN.com

And people wonder why the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has the reputation for being over ruled?



Stolen Valor Act of 2005 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I don't know what to think of this. On the one hand, people that wear medals they haven't earned and used it to promote themselves and/or make money are the scum of the Earth. On the other hand, you have the First Amendment.

Perhaps instead it should be a civil matter instead of a criminal one ... :shrug:
 

Captain America

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Re: Appeals court rules Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional

Here is a picture of a sailor ceremoniously going from pollywog to shellback, in all it's splendor.

 

Cold Highway

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Re: Appeals court rules Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional

This is a weird situation for the fact that he said he got the medal after he got elected based on the article. I would put the act of saying you got the MoH in order to obtain/achieve something in the same guise as lying on a job application, its fraud.
 

LaMidRighter

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Just to keep this one alive. The ninth circuit really needs to be reigned in, and especially in light of a few things in this particular case.
1) I don't know how they came to the conclusion that falsehoods are protected as long as they don't harm someone, when you consider all of the people in prison for that very same issue.
2) It does in fact harm those who served valiantly, I would be incredibly injured had I earned medals only for someone to denegrate that for some form of gains.
3) Even though this was a civilian law.......wouldn't this be a jurisdiction of the USMCJ considering it is fraud based upon the military's reputation? Maybe a few of our attorney or military friends here could weigh in on that.
 

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This is not about slander or libel or fraud. It's about some guy claiming he has an award he doesn't have. It is making lying a crime, even if no harm (other than believing the lie) comes from it.

You guys really want that? You want everything anyone says to be subjected to a Truth Squad? You want the government to have the power to force us to always tell the truth? What's next: It's illegal to lie when someone asks if this dress makes her look fat?

Is this guy scum for doing this? Of course. That's not the issue. Don't be blinded by the dislike of this guy to open the door to having anything you say subject to government oversight.

The first amendment is meaningless if we only protect speech we agree with.
 

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Re: Appeals court rules Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional

This is a weird situation for the fact that he said he got the medal after he got elected based on the article. I would put the act of saying you got the MoH in order to obtain/achieve something in the same guise as lying on a job application, its fraud.
But it's not a crime to lie on a job application. You can get fired because it's unethical. But making lying illegal is pretty scary. Do you think it should be illegal to lie to your boss and claim to be sicker than you really are? That's fraud, too. And you could get fired for it if you're caught. But I can't imagine getting arrested for it.

I realize that because it's about military service it carries more weight. It's a dishonor to those who served. But it shouldn't be a crime. You should just get the crap slapped outta ya'.
 

RightinNYC

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Moderator's Warning:
Threads merged.


Fraud, perjury, and other untruths that embellish a record and taint the service of those who EARNED a medal harm NO ONE? REALLY?
Fraud (which is a specifically defined crime) is already against the law.
Perjury is already against the law.

If someone lies about their military service in the course of committing fraud or perjury, it's still a crime.
 

Manc Skipper

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It neither picks your pocket nor breaks your leg. Get over it.
 

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The key to remember is this: There is a LOT of speech out there that is disrespectful, hurts the feelings of other people, and simply makes you angry. A lot of this speech is lies.

If you start making this speech illegal, that's a very dangerous path. Next someone will make it illegal to use the "n" word (like some people have actually proposed) or otherwise limit what you can say. Maybe they'll make it illegal to say bad things about politicians next. I mean, that hurts people too.

The Alien and Sedition Acts were a bad idea under President Adams and they're a bad idea now.
 

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The honor of the Military is damaged by allowing scumbags to lie about awards they have earned. It reduces morale, reduces respect, it devalues the sacrifice of our men and women. And there is little surprise our more liberal posters see no problem with a ruling that does such.

For shame. The 9th Circuit will be overturned.
 

Aunt Spiker

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Ok - so we can't legally punish people.

But we can railroad them out the ****ter.
 

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The honor of the Military is damaged by allowing scumbags to lie about awards they have earned. It reduces morale, reduces respect, it devalues the sacrifice of our men and women. And there is little surprise our more liberal posters see no problem with a ruling that does such.
Stupid judges upholding the First Amendment. What were they thinking??
 

Aunt Spiker

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Stupid judges upholding the First Amendment. What were they thinking??
*looks at the first ammendment*

Ah - yes - there it is! "lying is free-speech!" :rofl silly me . . . here I was looking at the *slander* *libel* and *defamation* which are *not* allowed and associating the negative of those to the *lying* factor.

But I guess I'm wrong.

It doesn't have to be illegal for it to get someone railroaded - burning the flag is legal *but* is it accepted? Is it promoted and encouraged? No.

My husband deals with liars all the time - one of his late friends lied about how he was injured oversees - made up some heroic bull**** story instead of telling the truth (because the truth was just embarrassing - and non combat related) . . . **** happens *in* the service all the time . . . so unless we're going to punish those *in* - we can't punish those who are *out*
 
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Coronado

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*looks at the first ammendment*

Ah - yes - there it is! "lying is free-speech!" :rofl silly me . . . here I was looking at the *slander* *libel* and *defamation* which are *not* allowed and associating the negative of those to the *lying* factor.
Slander, libel and defamation are all civil causes of action that require proof of some quantifiable damage and thus are not free speech.

The First Amendment covers lots of lying, I'm afraid. :shrug:
 

Your Star

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The honor of the Military is damaged by allowing scumbags to lie about awards they have earned. It reduces morale, reduces respect, it devalues the sacrifice of our men and women. And there is little surprise our more liberal posters see no problem with a ruling that does such.

For shame. The 9th Circuit will be overturned.
This isn't a conservative, liberal issue. It's a first amendment issue, and the first amendment was upheld.
Guys a scumbag, but that's not against the law.
 

stealthy

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It's repulsive to compare Medal of Honor recipients with job applicants.

I was right, Valor is a foreign concept to those toenail deep in the sea of ethics.
 

Coronado

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It's repulsive to compare Medal of Honor recipients with job applicants.

I was right, Valor is a foreign concept to those toenail deep in the sea of ethics.
Alrighty then.

:shrug:
 
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