Supreme Court strikes down military medal lying law

Supreme Court strikes down military medal lying law, The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a federal law that makes it a crime to lie about receiving a military medal, ruling it violated constitutional free-speech rights.

By a 6-3 vote, in a case about how far the government may go to prosecute false claims about military honors, the high court handed a setback to the Obama administration over the "Stolen Valor Act" that Congress adopted in 2006.

"The nation well knows that one of the costs of the First Amendment is that it protects the speech we detest as well as the speech we embrace," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the court's main opinion, speaking for himself and three other justices.

While statements by a California man falsely claiming he had received the congressional Medal of Honor were "contemptible," Kennedy said the right to make those statements was protected by the constitutional guarantee of free speech and expression.

The ruling rejected the administration's argument that the military medal law was constitutional and that the government has a strong interest in protecting the integrity of awards to war heroes.

Opponents said the law swept too broadly, suppressed speech and covered innocent bragging, satire and even false statements that cause no harm such as those at issue in the case by a serial liar who held local political office in California.

Read more: reuters
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