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Supreme Court suit will contemplate free speech in Stolen Valor Act


The Supreme Court will be hearing feuds in the suit of U.S. v. Alvarez. The Act makes it a crime to lie about getting military awards or about military service; a law that might violate First Amendment free speech protections. Article source: Supreme Court agrees to hear arguments about Stolen Valor Act

The Stolen Valor Act made clear

The beginning of the Stolen Valor Act was in 2005 when it was introduced. In 2006, it was signed into law. With the regulation, it is illegal to "falsely represent oneself as having acquired any U.S. military decoration or medal.” People were meant to stop lying about military service initially. Honors were given to very few individuals. Two hundred times that amount of individuals claims they have received an award.

Looking at the constitution’s involvement

The Stolen Valor Act brings up many debates. There's a lot of government support though. Many courts have ruled the Stolen Valor Act to be unconstitutional because it targets a type of speech only because it is untrue. A final ruling on the regulation will be made by the Supreme Court. This will be done in U.S. v. Alvarez. The case is about Xavier Alvarez that said he served in the Marines but pleaded guilty with the Stolen Valor Act as a former Water Board member in south Pomona, California.

Is it just a lie?

The main difference between a lie and fraud will be clarified in U.S. v. Alvarez. Someone loses cash or is harmed with fraud which is an action towards someone else. The only time that a lie is prosecuted, generally, is when an individual signs an affidavit for information or if a person is under oath. It is only illegal to lie if a person promises legally to tell the truth.

Everything in the First Amendment

Lies that don't fall under perjury or fraud statues have, in the past, been protected by the First Amendment. Free speech generally covers all speech that isn't lewd, obscene, profane, libelous, or an upcoming danger to others. Telling a lie is something the Stolen Valor Act covers. It is not mentioned anywhere else. The Supreme Court is going to have to choose how much the Amendment covers when it comes to lies.



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