An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
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.
Mr. 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.
A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with him in a 2-1 decision Tuesday, agreeing that the law was a violation of his free-speech rights. The majority said there’s no evidence that such lies harm anybody, and there’s no compelling reason for the government to ban such lies.
Is common decency a ‘compelling reason’? You can’t shout FIRE in a crowded theater. It is NOT protected under the 1st Amendment, nor should a feckless weasel LYING about his military service. It dishonors all who DID receive such medals. It is a slap in the face to every honorable person in the country. But then, this IS the 9th circus, and judging by many of their decision, honor isn’t even in their vocabulary.
In my limited understanding of the 1st Amendment, the phrase “abridging the freedom of speech”, does NOT protect thieves. And that’s what this case represents….THEFT!
THOU SHALT NOT STEAL!!