Stolen Valor Act Found Unconstitutional by Colorado District Court Judge

Stolen Valor Act Found Unconstitutional by Colorado District Court Judge

This is a discussion on Stolen Valor Act Found Unconstitutional by Colorado District Court Judge within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This is just wrong on so many levels, fraud is fraud and should not be considered freedom of speech. Charge dismissed in fake hero's case, ...

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Thread: Stolen Valor Act Found Unconstitutional by Colorado District Court Judge

  1. #1
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    Stolen Valor Act Found Unconstitutional by Colorado District Court Judge

    This is just wrong on so many levels, fraud is fraud and should not be considered freedom of speech.

    Charge dismissed in fake hero's case, Valor Act ruled unconstitutional

    A federal judge in Denver has ruled the Stolen Valor Act is "facially unconstitutional" because it violates free speech and dismissed the criminal case against Rick Strandlof, a man who lied about being an Iraq war veteran.

    U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn issued his decision this morning.

    "The Stolen Valor Act is declared to be facially unconstitutional as a content-based restriction on speech that does not serve a compelling government interest, and consequently that the Act is invalid as violative of the First Amendment," Blackburn wrote in his opinion.

    Strandlof, 32, was charged with five misdemeanors related to violating the Stolen Valor Act - specifically, making false claims about receiving military decorations.

    He posed as "Rick Duncan," a wounded Marine captain who received a Purple Heart and a Silver Star. Strandlof used that persona to found the Colorado Veterans Alliance and solicit funds for the organization.

    Actual veterans who served on the board were suspicious of his claims and the FBI began investigating.

    Robert Pepin, Strandlof's attorney, the ACLU of Colorado and the Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties group, all filed briefs with Blackburn contesting the Stolen Valor Act.

    They argued that simply lying is not illegal.

    The Stolen Valor Act prohibits people from falsely claiming they have been awarded military decorations and medals.

    The act, signed into law in 2006, carries a punishment ranging from fines to six months in prison.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Sibert had argued false statements made by Strandlof are not protected speech because they damaged the reputation and meaning of military decorations and medals.


    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_15532591

    http://www.eaglespeak.us/2010/07/sto...itutional.html
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    It's O.K. this 'low-life' has his revenge for his false claims roaming around in the Cosmos...just waiting for a place to land. The judge has spoken and that's his decision.
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    I believe that the good old military ass whooping act should be enforced by actual veterans who not only served but watched their friends become casualties of the war,I would bet there wouldn't be too many cases
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    The Colorado ACLU...figures.
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    I believe that the good old military ass whooping act should be enforced by actual veterans who not only served but watched their friends become casualties of the war,I would bet there wouldn't be too many cases
    works for me...
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    I've gone both ways on this one...on the one hand it's a free country. People in the US are free to be lying dirtbags if they wish. If one can claim to being Superman, Batman, Jesus, or the Pope, they can certainly claim to be a MoH winner. Where the line should be drawn, IMO, is where fraud is involved. In this case, he traded on his lies to gain something tangible - whether donations, other types of money, or support for a cause. Either way, he's a major league A-hole who deserves the scorn of a righteous society.

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    [SARCASM] Well it's nice to know that the courts will protect my 1A right to lie! Yet they have laws against perjury..... [/SARCASM]
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    I wonder if someone was to exercise their "right to free speech" and were to pass themselves off as a judge if this same judge would be as tolerant?

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    Both the judge and this phoney need a military-act booty whoopin!
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    If the "Stolen Valor Act" is Unconstitutional then charge the clown with Identity Theft and Fraud. Then hopefully he is convicted then sentenced to five years of Military ***** Whooping.

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    Lying is one thing. Who hasn't stretched the truth on "the one that got away."? But to intentionally do so for monetary gain is fraud in any court, and should be tried as such. Wouldn't someone be guilty of fraud if "claiming" to be a stockbroker and and buying/selling stocks?
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    Does this also apply impersonating a police officer? I think the judge just opened the wrong can of worms!
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    Without having read the case, it appears as though it was decided simply on the free speech issue. However, someone who was defrauded by his actions could bring a separate cause of action and, in that event, free speech is not a defense to fraud. The likelihood of an individual doing so, however, is remote, given the costs and inconvenience weighed against the dollar amount they may have contributed. That's why fraud continues unabated.

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    I was unaware that fraud was legal...
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