Occasionally, I'll digress from the usual eclectic fare of this blog to share some interesting cases from around the country. I posted earlier about the Stolen Valor Act case arising from California. The case involved a man asserting his receipt of the Medal of Honor. Per the Ninth Circuit: Apparently, Alvarez makes a hobby of lying about himself to make people think he is "a psycho from the mental ward with Rambo stories." The summer before his election to the water district board, a woman informed the FBI about Alvarez's propensity for making false claims about his military past. Alvarez told her that he won the Medal of Honor for rescuing the American Ambassador during the Iranian hostage crisis, and that he had been shot in the back as he returned to the embassy to save the American flag. Alvarez reportedly told another woman that he was a Vietnam veteran helicopter pilot who had been shot down but then, with the help of his buddies, was able to get the chopper back into the sky. The Ninth Circuit reversed the conviction, here . As predicted, the United States just petitioned for Supreme Court review (petition here). The Question Presented is: Section 704(B) of Title 18, United States Code, makes it a crime when anyone "falsely represents himself or herself, *** verbally or in writing, to have been awarded any decoaration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States." The Question Presented is Whether 18 U.S.C. 704(B) is facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. Stay tuned.
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