Orders & Medals Society of America Forums General Chat Supremes declare SVA unconstitutional

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  • #12378
    frivilig
    Participant

    Jun 28, 10:06 AM EDT Supreme Court strikes down Stolen Valor law

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has struck down a federal law making it a crime to lie about having received the Medal of Honor and other prized military awards.

    The court voted 6-3 Thursday in favor of Xavier Alvarez, a former local elected official in California who falsely claimed he was a decorated war veteran.

    Alvarez had pleaded guilty to violating a 2006 law that was adopted with the nation at war in Afghanistan and Iraq and aimed at people making phony claims of heroism in battle. The court, in a judgment written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, ordered that his conviction be thrown out.

    http://www.stripes.com/news/supreme-cou … 8-10-06-17

    #15924
    jb floyd
    Moderator

    A technical question: since the case was argued solely on the false claims provision, what is the effect on the rest of the law? Does the false claims provision get deleted and the rest of the law remain untouched? Or, does the whole Section 704 bite the dust?

    #15926
    jb floyd
    Moderator

    Having spent a bit of time digging into my own question, I can only conclude that the subparagraph of Title 18, Section 704, USC, relating to false claims wil be dropped, while the rest of the law will remain valid. In short, no real change for collectors.

    #15929
    jbigley
    Participant

    Thanks Jeff. I was wondering about that myself this morning. Too bad the entire thing didn’t get thrown out.

    Given that is your learned conclusion, I now wonder how that specific question gets directed to a somewhat "supreme being" (higher than you :lol: ) and answered?

    Jim

    #15932
    frivilig
    Participant

    Jeff, agreed, the appeal attacked only the Constitutional First Amendment (speech) aspect of 18 USC §704.

    A larger article on the court’s decision appeared in today’s Washington Post. — http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/sup … _local_pop

    A full text link to the actual decision itself. — http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/po … -text.html

    Justice Kennedy’s remark at p.17 of the opinion is especially poignant: "Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication."

    Bill (LM 91)

    #15986
    james roller 2
    Participant

    Is OMSA taking this opportunity to contact the legislators involved in formulating the new revised Act to make it more collector-friendly, ensure free trade/rights to private property, and to correct the unintended consequence of the Act which drives MOH into hiding or overseas? If we can demonstrate to the MOH Society and VFW, etc. that the current law prevents medals from being incorporated into museum collections, perhaps they can join with us in a common goal. Jim Roller

    #15987
    jb floyd
    Moderator

    Jim,

    There are several bills floating around, so we’re trying to figure out which is the most likely to fly. Once that’s nailed down, we can start working with the appropriate staffers to try to get a reasonable law that makes everybody happy. Because Congress is engaged in its election year silliness, it’s highly likely that nothing will actually happen this legislative year.

    #15988
    neil burns
    Member

    Hi All,
    It seems the issue (to the Court) was the broadness of the law regarding free speech.I’m not surprised the court did not address the buying and selling issue as it was not part of the appeal.
    Interesting to see the Court suggests what had been suggested here in 2005, a real database of medal recipients!
    If only that were possible,
    Neil

    #15989
    jim barker
    Participant

    Hi All,
    It seems the issue (to the Court) was the broadness of the law regarding free speech.I’m not surprised the court did not address the buying and selling issue as it was not part of the appeal.
    Interesting to see the Court suggests what had been suggested here in 2005, a real database of medal recipients!
    If only that were possible,
    Neil

    In an Associated Press article by Robert Burns that appeared in the Colorado Springs Gazette on 11 Jul 2012: "Database Considered for Medal Receipients". According to the article The Pentagon plans to establish a searchable database of military valor awards. The intent is to have a digital repository of records on valor awards going back as far in history as possible. Obviously, the 1973 fire at NPRC will complicated their efforts.

    Jim

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