Recently, the Supreme Court ruled the Stolen Valor Act (PL 109-437) unconstitutional. The Court said the 2005 law, which made it a crime to lie about one’s military decorations, intrudes on free speech. In essence, the Court said it is perfectly okay to lie about military service awards.
Tuesday, Rep. Joe Heck and Sen. Scott Brown held a press conference to call on Congress to pass an updated version of the Stolen Valor Act that would pass the court’s muster. Instead of criminalizing the act of lying about military honors, the bill would make it a crime to profit from those lies. Rep. Heck’s bill is H.R. 1775. Senator Brown’s (R-MA) companion bill is S. 1728.
On Wednesday, July 11th, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced another bill, “The Military Service Integrity Act of 2012,” that would make it a crime to lie about receiving a military decoration “in order to secure a tangible benefit or a personal gain,” according to a press release.
NAUS is pleased to endorse these initiatives, and said “While we respect the Court decision, we continue to view fabrication of military service records and awards as repulsive behavior, lying and fraud.”
If you would like to help pass H.R. 1775 and S. 1728. Please click on NAUS alert system at CapWiz Alert to send an email expressing your support. Please ask your family, friends and neighbors to become involved too.
Free speech is a basic right but deliberately lying for gain or to impress others demeans the sacrifices made by real veterans. We look forward to Congress taking a second look at developing a constitutional way to stop those who would steal or impersonate another’s valor.
This story was originally reported by the National Association for Uniformed Services (NAUS) Weekly Update.
- Lawmakers push for new Stolen Valor Act (stripes.com)
- A Remedy Remains: “Stolen Valor” is Still Fraud (heitingandirwin.wordpress.com)
- Veteran convicted under Stolen Valor Act doesn’t want his record cleared (rep-am.com)
- Heck, Brown Push Replacement for Stolen Valor Act Killed by Supreme Court (usnews.com)