A VFW-led effort to protect the sanctity of military medals will be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court this spring. VFW and 24 other organizations want the nation;’s highest court to uphold the Stolen Valor Act – A 2006 law that makes it a crime to falsely claim receipt of a medal for valor.
Two federal courts – the Ninth Circuit Cort of Appeals in San Francisco and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver – each ruled in seperate cawes over the last two years that the Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional. The courts stated that the First Amendment’s free speach protection applies even to lies.
VFW and the other organizations believe those who falsely claim to have earned the Medal of Honor and other prestigious decorations “are taking advantage pof the goodwill associated with those awards,” according to a frief filed in the cawe.
“Lies about military honors take advantage of the public’s trust,” the brief noted. “They alow con men to benefit in innumerable tangible and intangible ways from the virtually inexhaustible reservoir of goodwill, admiratino and honor that military heroes have earned over the past 235 years.”
Since the Stolen Valor Act was enacted in December 2006, an estimated 60 phony veterans have been convicted.
Information provided by ‘Stolen Valor’, VFW Magazine, February 2012
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