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WASHINGTON (AP) — Xavier Alvarez stood up at a public meeting and called himself a wounded war veteran who had received the top military award, the Medal of Honor. He was lying about his medal, his wounds and his military service, but he wasn't the first man to invent war exploits.
He was, however, one of the first people prosecuted under a 2006 federal law aimed at curbing false claims of military valor.
Concerns that the law improperly limits speech and turns people into criminals for things they say, rather than do, are at the heart of the Supreme Court's review of his case and the Stolen Valor Act.
On July 16, 2010, a federal judge in Denver ruled the Stolen Valor Act is “facially unconstitutional” because it violates free speech and dismissed the criminal case against Strandlof who lied about being an Iraq war veteran.
Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I think this law was passed while the emotions from 9/11 were still quite high. It's such an offense to many people that they figure "there should be a law"... And so they made one.
I disagree with it. It's basically a law against lying. It's one thing to misrepresent one's self in an official capacity, but just a casual mention of winning a medal shouldn't be against the law. It violates free speech.