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In the undercard to the Supreme Court’s momentous healthcare decision Thursday, the court ruled that the Stolen Valor Act, making it a crime to lie about winning military honors, was unconstitutional.
The court struck down the law, passed by Congress under President George W. Bush, ruling in a 6-3 decision that it violated the First Amendment protections on free speech.
But the court did say that the law the act has “substantial justification,” and could be rewritten by Congress in a narrower fashion, something that lawmakers are likely to attempt.
“The First Amendment risks flowing from the Act’s breadth of coverage could be diminished or eliminated by a more finely tailored statute, for example, a statute that requires a showing that the false statement caused specific harm or is focused on lies more likely to be harmful or on contexts where such lies are likely to cause harm,” the court wrote.