The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a federal law called the Stolen Valor Act which prohibits a person from falsely claiming that he has been awarded a military honor.
The case involved Xavier Alvarez who was an elected member of the Three Valleys Municipal Water District Board in Pomona, California. In 2007 Alvarez said at a public water district board meeting that he was a retired Marine, had been “wounded many times,” and had been “awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor” in 1987.
In fact, he had never served in the United States armed forces.
He pleaded guilty to violating the Stolen Valor Act, but claimed that his false statements were protected by the First Amendment right of free speech.
In defending the law, the Obama administration had argued that “military awards serve as public symbols of honor and prestige, conveying the nation’s gratitude for acts of valor and sacrifice; and they foster morale… and esprit de corps within the military. False claims to have received military awards undermine the system’s ability to fulfill these purposes” and “make the public skeptical of all claims to have received awards….”
But Alvarez’s lawyers contended that the Frist Amendment freedom of speech protected “exaggerated anecdotes, barroom braggadocio, and cocktail party puffery.”
if you ask me anyone who lies about this stuff deserves to have “exaggerated anecdotes" about their lineage put on the front page of the local newspaper. thankfully it looks like the internet
will be providing a like service.