Judge Says The First Amendment Protects You If You Lie About Receiving A Purple Heart
from the of-course,-it-only-protects-you-against-lawsuits dept
While lying about receiving military medals is pretty sleazy, that doesn't mean that it should automatically be illegal. The government (who is thinking about appealing) makes this bizarre argument:
"By allowing anyone to claim to possess such decorations, could impact the motivation of soldiers to engage in valorous, and extremely dangerous, behavior on the battlefield."Really? Because some jackass back home pretends to have won a Purple Heart, real soldiers will be less motivated to perform on the battlefield? If so, that seems to say more about the soldier's existing motivation. Besides, it seems like even without this law, social mores already limit this kind of activity. If you're found out lying about military medals, it seems like your reputation would already take a pretty big hit.
Thankfully, the judge in the case found the statement above equally as preposterous:
"This wholly unsubstantiated assertion is, frankly, shocking, and indeed, unintentionally insulting to the profound sacrifices of military personnel the Stolen Valor Act purports to honor," the judge ruled. "To suggest that the battlefield heroism of our servicemen and women is motivated in any way, let alone in a compelling way, by considerations of whether a medal may be awarded simply defies my comprehension."