It Is Once Again Totally Legal To Lie About Military Service

Photo: US Army / flickr

Obscured in the news by the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court also weighed in on the legal challenge to the Stolen Valor Act. The Act — which makes it a federal crime to lie about receiving medals for military service — was ruled unconstitutional by the highest court in the land. 

Signed into law in 2005 and originally  introduced by Rep. John Salazar (now the head of the Department of the Interior) and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), the act was intended to “protect the reputation and meaning of military heroism medals”

The act was prompted by the fact that — despite the fact that there are only 120 living Medal of honour recipients and fewer Navy SEALS than active NFL players— impostors often claim to have received prestigious military honours for personal gain. 

The 6-3 decision to strike down the law completely strikes down the legislation.

The decision, written by Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, argues that the act “would endorse government authority to compile a list of subjects about which false statements are punishable,” according to the Washington Post. 


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