Stolen valor: Fake military ‘heroes’ fighting for their right to lie

WHAT: Since Congress passed the Stolen Valor Act in 2006, the Justice Department has prosecuted more than 60 people for lying about being a military hero. But federal court decisions have been very mixed.

WHY: Admittedly fake heroes have won their cases by arguing that the law unconstitutionally violates free speech rights. A Los Angeles Appeals Court said the law enables “criminalizing lying about one’s height, weight, age or financial status.”

WHAT’S BEING DONE: A Denver Appeals Court is now weighing whether the act is indeed unconstitutional, and its decision is expected to be sent to the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile a new congressional bill is trying to close the Stolen Valor Act’s loopholes.

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