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53 B.C. L. Rev. 775 (2012)
Hey - That's My Valor: The Stolen Valor Act and Government Regulation of False Speech under the First Amendment

handle is hein.journals/bclr53 and id is 781 raw text is: 








    HEY! THAT'S MY VALOR: THE STOLEN
         VALOR ACT AND GOVERNMENT
         REGULATION OF FALSE SPEECH
         UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT



  Abstract: The Stolen Valor Act criminalizes lies about receiving military
  decorations. Through the Stolen Valor Act, the government seeks to pro-
  tect the honor associated with receiving a military decoration from people
  who  falsely claim to have received one. Some courts have held that the
  false statements proscribed by the Stolen Valor Act fall outside of First
  Amendment   protection. Other courts, most notably the U.S. Court of Ap-
  peals for the Ninth Circuit, in the 2010 decision United States v. Alvarez,
  held that lies about military decorations are protected speech and that the
  Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional because it does not meet strict scru-
  tiny. This Note argues that the First Amendment protects false statements.
  Section 704(b) of the Stolen Valor Act does not fall into any category of
  unprotected speech, does not meet the strict scrutiny test for government
  regulation of protected speech, and therefore is an unconstitutional re-
  striction of protected speech.


                            INTRODUCTION

     On July 23, 2007, at a meeting  of the Three Valley Water District
Board  of Directors in suburban Los Angeles, newly elected director Xa-
vier Alvarez introduced  himself: I'm a retired Marine  of twenty-five
years. I retired in the year 2001. Back in 1987, I was awarded the Con-
gressional Medal of Honor.  I got wounded  many  times by the same guy.
I'm still around.I Apart from the last sentence, Alvarez's introduction
was a series of lies.2 Alvarez never served a day in any branch of the U.S.


    I United States v. Alvarez, 617 F.3d 1198, 1200 (9th Cir. 2010), cert. granted, 80 U.S.L.W.
3098 (U.S. Oct. 17, 2011) (No. 11-210). The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest
award for valor in action against an enemy force. The Medal of Honor, CONG. MEDAL OF
HONOR  Soc'Y, http://www.cmohs.org (last visited Mar. 12, 2012). The Congressional
Medal of Honor is generally presented by the President of the United States of America in
the name of Congress to individuals serving in the armed services of the United States. Id.
The first Medal of Honor was presented March 25, 1863 to Private Jacob Parrott and there
have been 3454 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients since. Archive Statistics, CONG.
MEDAL OF HONOR Soc'y, http://www.cmohs.org/medal-statistics.php (last visited Mar. 12,
2012). Only eighty-five Congressional Medal of Honor recipients are still alive. Id.
   2 Alvarez, 617 F.3d at 1201.


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