Stolen Valor Act Struck Down: It’s Not Illegal To Lie
Americans can still exaggerate about their military service.
The case involved Xavier Alvarez who was an elected member of the Three Valleys Municipal Water District Board in Pomona, California. In 2007 Alvarez said at a public water district board meeting that he was a retired Marine, had been “wounded many times,” and had been “awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor” in 1987.
In fact, he had never served in the United States armed forces.
He pleaded guilty to violating the Stolen Valor Act, but claimed that his false statements were protected by the First Amendment right of free speech.