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Supreme Court Says First Amendment Protects Lies About Military Medals

| June 28, 2012
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Medals belonging to a US Marine commander. (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

In other Supreme Court news today, the Supreme Court has struck down the Stolen Valor Act, a federal law making it a crime to lie about having received the Medal of Honor and other prized military awards.

The court voted 6-3 Thursday in favor of Xavier Alvarez, a former local elected official in California who falsely claimed he was a decorated war veteran.

Alvarez had pleaded guilty to violating a 2006 law that was adopted with the nation at war in Afghanistan and Iraq and aimed at people making phony claims of heroism in battle. The court, in a judgment written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, ordered that his conviction be thrown out.

Read the complete text of United States v. Alvarez [pdf].

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