Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in the case of U.S. v. Alvarez, which presents the question of the constitutionality of the "Stolen Valor Act." The Stolen Valor Act prohibits people from falsely claiming they have been awarded military decorations and medals, and states that: Whoever falsely represents himself or herself, verbally or in writing, to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States, any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration, or medal, or any colorable imitation of such item shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than six months, or both. As I discussed here last year, in July 2010 a federal district court in Denver ruled that the act violates free speech, and rejected the argument that lying about having military medals dilutes their meaning and significance. A month later, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also considered the issue in a separate case (the Alvarez case), and held (via Threat Level) that the "speech" involved in the case -- lying about being awarded military medals --...

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