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Stolen Valor Act To Be Heard By Supreme Court

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Carrys, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

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    Heard on the TV News a few minutes ago.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

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    IMO, there is no Constitutionally protected right to lie.

    Yeah, it might be a stupid law. Yeah, there might be better remedies. Not the point. The point is that the 1A in protecting speech can't be construed as protecting lies.

    So if SCOTUS applies the Constitution, they ought to say that there is nothing there carving out a liar's protection, which means that Congress is free to legislate against it, or not, and the President is free to sign the law, or not.
     

  3. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    That seems like a dangerous, dangerous argument to me.

    There is a Constitutionally protected right to speech. If that speech has to pass a test of "truth" before it can be Constitutionally protected, then there are a whole lot of things that are currently protected as "free speech" which won't be tomorrow.
     
  4. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    I hope it's found unconstitutional in its entirety.

    Laws about claiming all that for any gain already exist.
    Laws against wearing medals you have not earned already exist.

    It's a horrible, HORRIBLE law.
     
  5. Woofie

    Woofie Disirregardless CLM

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    I beg to differ. The right to lie would fall under the category "Freedom of speech."
     
  6. GD2J

    GD2J GoDirectly2Jail

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    Could you please reference any local, state, or federal laws about wearing medals not earned? Outside of the UCMJ (not applicable to civilians) and the Stolen Valor Act itself (18 USC 704), I couldn't find any.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  7. gemeinschaft

    gemeinschaft AKA Fluffy316

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    I think that a false claim to military service or award is no different than falsly presenting yourself as a public figure.

    For those who think all speech is protected, maybe we should be debating whether it should be legal to falsely claim that you are a Peace Officer.... Anyone?

    When it comes to stolen valor, I see it as a crime against those who did not come home - no different than desecrating their graves.
     
  8. xdime

    xdime Drunken Sailor

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    Personally I can understand both arguements and both sides have good points. But my thoughts are this, while the new law is on the fence whether it is constitutional or not. We need to stop people from doing this. If we do not stop it what does that say about us as a society to not stand behind our service members? I just ask that you put yourself in a service members shoes, and think about all the sacrifices they make, just to hear about these no bodys putting on a uniform and medals they know nothing about. But on top of that, there is nothing anyone can do to stop them.

    I might be partial to one side because I am in the Navy, but those are my thoughts.
     
  9. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    There have been fake military guys since Josh and the boys walked around Jericho. Another law is not going to stop them. Embarrass them and they'll stop on their own.

    But I've never served, so I don't have an opinion. Lol
     
  10. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

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    You mean like fraud, perjury, forgery, falsification of public documents? Or, stepping away from criminal issues, you mean that advertisers have the Constitutional right to publish any promise or representation they wish, refuse to honor warranites, and then claim government protection when you try to deal with them? Balderdash.

    Let's suppose that the "right" to lie is in fact Constitutionally protected. Let's suppose that you lie about something. I, an agent of the government, tell the truth, expose your lie, and you suffer for it. Fair enough? Now, haven't I just deprived you of a Constitutionally protected right under color of authority? Haven't I caused damages to you while you were exercising a protected freedom? Indeed I have--we set up the problem to do exactly that. Therefore, under federal law, you can sue for the damages caused you by the agent of the government. This piece of insanity comes about if you suppose that willful falsehoods enjoy Constitutional protection.

    Please read the last sentence again. This wasn't an argument about whether or not it *should* be criminalized, or what the government *ought* to do. This was an argument based on the consequences of saying that lies are Constitutionally protected.

    Neither are we talking about opinions, political or religious views. It's well recognized that "there is no thing as a false idea". We're talking about a false statement of fact.

    BTW, SCOTUS has already ruled on that, repeatedly. They may find another reason to strike down "Stolen Valor", but that's NOT saying that lies are magically protected speech.
     
  11. LawScholar

    LawScholar

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    On-point. I agree completely.

    To the poster above me:

    All of your examples specifically harm another party, mostly monetarily. Lies do not necessarily do so. Am I required to tell the truth when a girl asks if her dress makes her look fat? Of course not.

    Requiring truth in expression would be an impermissable constraint on the First Amendemnt. And frankly, if there is a truth test, most religions would be out of the picture for lack of factual backup.

    It's a shockingly dangerous precedent to set, as despicable as the harm it is meant to address plainly is.

    The same logic comes out of the Westboro Baptist case. Reprehensible, but we can't all suffer for the horrible things others do.

    Also, advertisers do have a limited right to advertise whatever they want and not be contratually bound, as long as the ad would not be reasonably construed as an offer for a contract. That's why a misprint for a refrigerator being $24 cannot be enforced. A reasonable person wouldn't think it really was.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  12. NIB

    NIB

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    You can't yell fire in a crowded theater, you'll be thrown in jail.

    You can't yell bomb inflight on a passenger plane, you'll be thrown in jail.

    You can't buy a badge and claim your a police officer, you'll be thrown in jail.

    Why shouldn't it be illegal to buy medals and claim something you aren't.

    Explain to me why this should be protected under the 1st Amendment.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  13. The Machinist

    The Machinist Please! Please! No more!

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    Your first three examples are situations that can cause harm to others. Playing fake soldier doesn't harm anyone but the ******bag doing it.
     
  14. Lampshade

    Lampshade

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    I guess it can after all.

    Good.
     
  15. Lampshade

    Lampshade

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    Uh, no.

    The right to lie would not imply the right to have one's lie remain unexposed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  16. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    You've lived your entire life in a country with no constitutionally protected right to lie (including the U.S. and, almost certainly, every other country you have lived in).

    That's why we can sue for damages or put people in jail for lies. The law has always been that, even where a real constitutional right, like self-incrimination or free speech is concerned, you have a right to say nothing, but no right to lie.

    The only difference between this and laws on lying to the police, defamation, etc., is the harm it causes and, apparently, the co8urts don't think the harm is direct enough to support this law.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  17. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    We intentionally create a certain social status and special privileges for those who have served in the military. As a practically matter, that is a large part of how we convince people that serving in the military is an honorable tradition and they should volunteer to do so. Things that devalue that status in the eyes of the public do have a practical negative effect on our ability to maintain a voluntary military force, considered in the long-run/big picture.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  18. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

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    I disagree. The court has said that this is protected speech. The full weight of the government is now compelled to protect liars and interdict those who would infringe on their recognized right.

    "Protect" is an active thing, not passive. Whether or not the law was stupid, coming out and calling this "protected speech" from the highest bench in the land was even more stupid.
     
  19. Mister_Beefy

    Mister_Beefy Legal & Proper

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    the police have been lying with the full weight of the government supporting them for a long time.

    the nullification does not make it legal to lie to the police.

    if it had held, within 20 years people could be prosecuted for telling fish stories, and we'd be britain.

    this is a win for freedom.
     
  20. DanaT

    DanaT Pharaoh

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    Or women would want men prosecuted for lying to them about.....


    Oooppppps....cant say that here



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