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June 28, 2012

SCOTUS strikes down Stolen Valor Act, 6-3, finding First Amendment problem

Reporting here on SCOTUSblog reporting on what its reporter Lyle Denniston is reporting from the Supreme Court this morning:

In Alvarez, the Ninth Circuit is affirmed. Per Kennedy. His opinion is for a plurality. The statute violates the First Amendment. Breyer and Kagan concur and conclude that the Act as presently drafted fails First Amendment scrutiny. So Congress probably could rewrite it.

"Lying was his habit" is how the opinion begins.

Alito, Scalia, and Thomas dissent.

So the upshot is that this version of the Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional, but Congress may be able to do a new law.

The full opinion in Alvarez is now available at this link.

June 28, 2012 at 10:07 AM | Permalink


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'The Ninth Circuit reversed, finding the Act invalid under the First Amendment.'

as it rightly should have been

Posted by: Frank Carpata | Jun 28, 2012 12:56:35 PM

Lying receives another boost. Yes, it would be preferrable if the culture instead of the law would adequately deter this sort of conduct, but it doesn't.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 28, 2012 5:29:41 PM

yes, BO that's the problem but legislating senseless laws such as the one cited contributes to the problem and results in what we all know as an 'incarceration nation' the need to please think things through before incorporating such inane knee jerk solutions is what is sorely needed in this day and age, shall we use the word 'common sense'?

Posted by: Frank Carpata | Jun 28, 2012 8:09:56 PM

I don't see why this is so far away from "reckless disregard for the truth" - which is, of course, not protected speech.

Posted by: P.S. Ruckman, Jr. | Jul 1, 2012 8:15:47 PM

should have known this was a dead issue. NOBODY in our govt is every goona say LIEING is a CRIME! NOT going to happen since once that is the LAW....they ALSO ARE LIABLE FOR THIER LIES!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 2, 2012 1:27:12 PM

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