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Appeals court:Stolen Valor Act Unconstitutional, do you agree?

PASADENA, Calif. – A three-year-old federal law that makes it a crime to falsely claim to have received a medal from the U.S. military is unconstitutional, an appeals court panel in California ruled Tuesday.

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.

Alvarez was indicted in 2007. 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.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100818/ap_on_re_us/us_military_medals_impostors

 
sweet-a-kins

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 10:32 PM on Aug. 17, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
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Answers (6)
  • If you lie to gain something, that's fraud. He told a blatant lie, not an obfuscation or a lie of omission, a blatant lie in an attempt to gain public office.
    annabellelee

    Answer by annabellelee at 11:06 PM on Aug. 17, 2010

  • It is. Technically a lie is freedom of speech UNLESS it impacts another. It can't be overruled that he gets fired, because lying is grounds for firing. However, the law that bans you from lying and possibly going to jail with regards to yourself is unconstitutional.
    urkiddingright

    Answer by urkiddingright at 10:50 PM on Aug. 17, 2010

  • I question this, because it's not how the law was written - the law is intended to cover people actually forging medals and selling them in surplus stores or second hand stores as real medals, not so much people who stand up and lie. It will be a shame if people get to cash in on forging medals again because this guy was charged with the law.

    At the same time, though - it's illegal to impersonate a police officer, it should also be illegal to impersonate a soldier.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 8:33 AM on Aug. 18, 2010


  • At the same time, though - it's illegal to impersonate a police officer, it should also be illegal to impersonate a soldier.

    I agree and if you are LYING about medals to gain public office, I think that should be a crime as well

    I agree with you sweet.
    jhcz

    Answer by jhcz at 11:17 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • And, he can be removed from office.
    urkiddingright

    Answer by urkiddingright at 11:25 PM on Aug. 17, 2010

  • At the same time, though - it's illegal to impersonate a police officer, it should also be illegal to impersonate a soldier.


    I agree and if you are LYING about medals to gain public office, I think that should be a crime as well

    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 8:35 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

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