Constitutionality of Stolen Valor Act debated

Monday, July 4, 2011

First Amendment Center scholar David L. Hudson Jr. writes about the constitutionality of the federal Stolen Valor Act in this month’s ABA Journal.

The law makes it illegal to lie about receiving commendations for military service. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held last year that the statute violated the First Amendment.

Hudson reviews several prosecutions and appeals stemming from the law and surveys a few scholars who disagree as to whether the act comports with the First Amendment.

Hudson also notes that the Supreme Court may be poised to review the law in the near future.

“The conflict may very well get to the high court as a First Amendment battle, as more cases are prosecuted under the Stolen Valor Act, possibly opening a split among the circuits,” Hudson wrote.