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Thread: Ninth Circus Appeals court: Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional, AP/G00gle

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    Ninth Circus Appeals court: Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional, AP/G00gle


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    Regular Member Swamper's Avatar
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    And we are surprised?

    The ninth is a joke ... and I suspect they will get overturned by higher courts, as is usually the case when they are appealed to arena where the LAW is actually utilized, and "Socialist Wish Lists" are NOT the only means of adjudication.
    Ignorance can be cured by education... there is nothing you can do for stupid, except try to keep it out of elected office!

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    I agree that the 9th is a joke, but I'm going to have to agree with them on this one. One of those 1st Amendment things. Lying about being a war hero is not going to hurt anyone on it's face. Dispicable to say the least, but should not be unlawful.

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    No different from self-righteous user names, claiming authority where there is none. Contrarywise, no different from denying the effect of a felony conviction. Words abide only those that abide words, like laws.

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    I am not really familiar with this case, but I don't think there should be a law against lying about military service. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. Therefore it is none of the government's concern. Is it morally wrong? Yes, but it shouldn't be illegal.


    EDIT: If the lie causes direct harm then there are other laws such as fraud that can be used, but the lie in and of itself is protected speech.
    Last edited by END_THE_FED; 08-19-2010 at 11:18 AM.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    Military service and many military awards have value. For example, many employers base employment decisions on military service and awards. If one falsely tries to use that value to gain value, that is fraud.

    One might argue that, as long as the lie is not done to gain value, then it is not fraud. However, apart from a sicko doing the impersonation solely for his personal kicks, I just don't see this being done except to gain value.

    Furthermore, the military uniform is a symbol of official power. Wearing one, when not authorized, is (and should be) a crime.

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    In that case the company that hired him should sue him for damages and if a prosecutor feels they have a case for fraud they can and should prosecute, but for fraud not for the lie.
    Last edited by END_THE_FED; 08-19-2010 at 11:47 AM.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    Quote Originally Posted by END_THE_FED View Post
    In that case the company that hired him should sue him for damages and if a prosecutor feels they have a case for fraud they can and should prosecute, but for fraud not for the lie.
    That argument can be made for every case of fraud. So, we should consider all fraud to be the exercise of Freedom of Speech and that it can only be handled in civil court? No, fraud is, in addition to being an act for which the victim can seek restitution from the perpetrator, a crime against society. It should be punished in a criminal court.

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    Like I said if the prosecutor feels he has a criminal fraud case he can and should pursue it.

    For example.
    A cruise company is offering 75% off to anyone who was awarded the medal of honor. A guy brings in a fake medal or maybe one that belonged to a family member, he gets the discount and takes the cruise. The company can sue for damages and the prosecutor can take him to criminal court for fraud or theft of service or something similar.

    Now lets say someone is getting into an argument in a web forum or on the street and the person says "look man I know what I'm talking about here I served in war and won the medal of honor". Then some how it is proven that he is full of B.S. in this situation the prosecutor can not charge him for lying about the medal of honor. In this case it is protected speech.

    EDIT: Fraud is a crime Lying is not
    Last edited by END_THE_FED; 08-19-2010 at 12:40 PM.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodbender View Post
    I agree that the 9th is a joke, but I'm going to have to agree with them on this one. One of those 1st Amendment things. Lying about being a war hero is not going to hurt anyone on it's face. Dispicable to say the least, but should not be unlawful.
    Sorry...but it's been upheld by the SCOTUS that lying about factual things is NOT free speech protected by the 1st Amendment...and therein lies the rub!

    ETA: Quote from the dissenting justice in one of the articles linked above....

    "The dissenting justice insisted that the majority refused to follow clear Supreme Court precedent that false statements of fact are not entitled to First Amendment protection."
    Last edited by fully_armed_biker; 08-19-2010 at 12:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    That argument can be made for every case of fraud. So, we should consider all fraud to be the exercise of Freedom of Speech and that it can only be handled in civil court? No, fraud is, in addition to being an act for which the victim can seek restitution from the perpetrator, a crime against society. It should be punished in a criminal court.
    I don't know. This is a tough one from a constitutional standpoint.

    Don't get me wrong. I have to severely repress some hostile feelings every time I hear about some jackhole throwing on a uniform and claiming heroism. As a matter of fact, I don't think most people can understand how this feels like a punch in the gut to those of us who have served. It is truly an insult of the highest degree.

    Well, at least it is to me...

    What you say has merit though Eye, in that it is absolutely correct that the claiming of awards or medals can contribute to claims for VA compensation. It is also true that there are benefits for employers who submit for claim that they have hired someone with a veterans preference.

    I believe personally that there are a lot of resources available to veterans that should be, and typically are, very well monitored. This is not to say that fraudulent claims are not made successfully, but rather that its very hard to prove to the VA or other available services that you are a veteran wihout specific documents for proof.

    Then though, there is a flipside to all of this that has to be considered:

    "On July 12, 1973, a disastrous fire at National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR) in St. Louis destroyed approximately 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files."
    The National Archives

    Some of these guys, may not be lying...(Well,..Korean War and back guys)


    I guess when it all comes down to it we do have a right to lie if we want.

    However:

    --If somebody wants to dress up as a veteran, with the express intent to imitate or fraudulently display themselves as such (Not a reenactment) I say nail em.

    --If somebody attempts to fraudulently claim medical or other veteran related service through false presentation of veteran status, I say nail em.


    Hell, the military community, and our veteran communities, are pretty tight knit. I have run into several guys who all claimed to serve, and within about 10 seconds of talking to them (or less) I could easily tell they were lying. I am fairly confident most vets possess this skill.

    SO, here is the short and skinny of it from my perspective.

    No claiming of benefits, to include any and all medical, retirement, veteran services, or employment benefits.
    No dressing in official military uniform for the express purposes of presenting ones self as in the service or prior service.

    (Actual law:
    Sec. 772. When wearing by persons not on active duty authorized

    -STATUTE-
    (a) A member of the Army National Guard or the Air National Guard
    may wear the uniform prescribed for the Army National Guard or the
    Air National Guard, as the case may be.
    (b) A member of the Naval Militia may wear the uniform prescribed
    for the Naval Militia.
    (c) A retired officer of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine
    Corps may bear the title and wear the uniform of his retired grade.
    (d) A person who is discharged honorably or under honorable
    conditions from the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps may wear
    his uniform while going from the place of discharge to his home,
    within three months after his discharge.
    (e) A person not on active duty who served honorably in time of
    war in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps may bear the
    title, and, when authorized by regulations prescribed by the
    President, wear the uniform, of the highest grade held by him
    during that war.
    (f) While portraying a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or
    Marine Corps, an actor in a theatrical or motion-picture production
    may wear the uniform of that armed force if the portrayal does not
    tend to discredit that armed force.
    (g) An officer or resident of a veterans' home administered by
    the Department of Veterans Affairs may wear such uniform as the
    Secretary of the military department concerned may prescribe.
    (h) While attending a course of military instruction conducted by
    the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps, a civilian may wear the
    uniform prescribed by that armed force if the wear of such uniform
    is specifically authorized under regulations prescribed by the
    Secretary of the military department concerned.
    (i) Under such regulations as the Secretary of the Air Force may
    prescribe, a citizen of a foreign country who graduates from an Air
    Force school may wear the appropriate aviation badges of the Air
    Force.
    (j) A person in any of the following categories may wear the
    uniform prescribed for that category:
    (1) Members of the Boy Scouts of America.
    (2) Members of any other organization designated by the
    Secretary of a military department.)

    Other than that, if they want to feel extremely stupid when called out....whatever I guess.

    Funny thing about military guys and gals. We all seem to know each other.
    Don't bother acting like you were in. I promise you we already know what you are.

    Quote Originally Posted by fully_armed_biker View Post
    Sorry...but it's been upheld by the SCOTUS that lying about factual things is NOT free speech protected by the 1st Amendment...and therein lies the rub!
    Can you cite please?

    If this were true, or usable as a basis for prosecution or incrimination, then I believe every open carrier on this forum could go to town on the anti-firearms folk.

    Just sayin...
    Last edited by slowfiveoh; 08-19-2010 at 12:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fully_armed_biker View Post
    Sorry...but it's been upheld by the SCOTUS that lying about factual things is NOT free speech protected by the 1st Amendment...and therein lies the rub!

    The only SCOTUS case I now of said lying in court is not protected.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    I allowed you to sidetrack me. I should have been more cautious.

    The point of my original post was that claiming military service, claiming awards, and wearing the uniform have value, as evidenced by the fact that fraud charges could be brought, not that making those false claims are fraud. They can be.

    The point is that those claims have value. Therefore, the government has a compelling interest in not allowing folks to falsely make those claims of value. The government has a further compelling interest in not allowing folks to wear the uniform unless they have been vested with the power that wearing the uniform represents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slowfiveoh View Post
    I don't know. This is a tough one from a constitutional standpoint.


    ....

    Can you cite please?

    ...
    That was a direct quote from the dissenting judge...No cite needed...

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    Thanks for the response biker. I did in fact miss that.

    I keep wanting to try to present a real good counterpoint to the act of simply "claiming one has served" without actually seeking compensation as "Not harmful", but the very words make me want to bite my own tongue off.

    I am thinking the "status" of a veteran is what needs to be perserved. Also, you make an excellent point with the medals comment Eye, but it is still technically possible to get out of the military without one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Personal responsibility is a facade created by religious people in particular...
    On "Personal Responsibility just after the previous, in the same exact thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Religion uses is as a tool, they did not create it.
    The wheels on the bus go round and round...round and round.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    You think that I am ill-equipped...hit me with your best shot Einstein, I am calling you out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Free will is only slightly a conscious exercise...

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    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    The Ninth Circuit getting overturned is about as remarkable as Joe Biden saying something stupid. Both are so unremarkable, they're positively routine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by END_THE_FED View Post
    EDIT: Fraud is a crime Lying is not
    Have you talked to Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevic about that?

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    People claim certain credentials that they have not earned all the time. Many years back one college found that a Professor lied on his resume and decided to chack all of them. They found that almost half of all Professors had made false claims. We have people running around all the time claiming titles such as Dr. or Rev. or other such things that they may have purchased of are just lying about. Most just do it to make themselves appear improtant for some reason and a few try to actually make money off of it. I don't think it should be a criminal act for someone to call themselves a Doctor, Veteran , Ranger, Green Beret or such things as long as they do not profit or try to use it for illegal purposes.

    I am a graduate Electrical Engineer and have passed the first phase of the Professional Engineering registration. (I never did finish it as I didn't need it and too much time passed before I got into the mood to do it) Now we have people running around calling themselves Sanitation Engineers which used to be a legitimate field but is now full of floor sweepers. The term Engineer used to be a very distinguished title for some people that did more than drive a train whic is a great job. For someone to try and claim that they are a veteran and have all kinds of war stories should not be singled out from the other liars and frauds out there. They are all BS artists. BTW My military service consists of 2 years of ROTC in college and one month away from being drafted when Nixon declared the end of the Vietnam conflict. My draft lottery number was 59, anyone remember that?
    Last edited by PT111; 08-19-2010 at 02:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deanimator View Post
    Have you talked to Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevic about that?
    I am having a hard time being equitable here. I will admit this.

    Just hearing about this pisses me off and I think this might be my last reply, because it's terrible difficult for me to be objective, so I apologize.

    Here is my last attempt to be equitable in this manner:

    Lying in and of itself does not seem to be unconstitutional. It is only when coupled with the intent to commit fraud or perjury that it truly becomes unlawful.

    I would love to see, if you gentlemen would not mind, references to SCOTUS cases where a lie without fiscal repercussions based on said lie, was enough to convict?

    My immediate response is to ****ing burn them (People who lie about their service).
    Last edited by slowfiveoh; 08-19-2010 at 02:10 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Personal responsibility is a facade created by religious people in particular...
    On "Personal Responsibility just after the previous, in the same exact thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Religion uses is as a tool, they did not create it.
    The wheels on the bus go round and round...round and round.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    You think that I am ill-equipped...hit me with your best shot Einstein, I am calling you out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Free will is only slightly a conscious exercise...

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    PT111 -

    Actually, many of the lies you cite do, in fact, have legal consequences. As one of the dissenting judges pointed out, SCOTUS has held that lying is not protected speech. Not being protected speech, some lies may be outlawed.
    Last edited by eye95; 08-19-2010 at 02:13 PM. Reason: To make sure the recipient was clear.

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    five-

    The point is that lying is not protected. Therefore, if the government has a compelling interest, it may criminalize lying. Perjury and fraud are clearly compelling reasons. I would contend that diminishing the value of service, medals, awards, and decorations by rampant false claims of such is a compelling reason also.

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    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowfiveoh View Post
    Lying in and of itself does not seem to be unconstitutional. It is only when coupled with the intent to commit fraud or perjury that it truly becomes unlawful.
    "Perjury" is typically understood to mean lying while under oath. You don't have to be under oath to be prosecuted for lying to LEOs during an investigation. I'm pretty sure that neither Stewart nor Blagojevic were.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    five-

    The point is that lying is not protected. Therefore, if the government has a compelling interest, it may criminalize lying. Perjury and fraud are clearly compelling reasons. I would contend that diminishing the value of service, medals, awards, and decorations by rampant false claims of such is a compelling reason also.
    I understand what you guys are getting at.

    I am simply noticing a disconnect between a lie, and potential impact of said lie.

    I would think it would be a good read to see whatever the dissenting justice was referring to as prior cases speciying that a lie, in and of itself, with no specific impact, is worthy of indictment.

    In regards to this particular subject I can't help being a bit emotive in response.

    Hang em, and hang em high.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Personal responsibility is a facade created by religious people in particular...
    On "Personal Responsibility just after the previous, in the same exact thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Religion uses is as a tool, they did not create it.
    The wheels on the bus go round and round...round and round.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    You think that I am ill-equipped...hit me with your best shot Einstein, I am calling you out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Free will is only slightly a conscious exercise...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deanimator View Post
    Have you talked to Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevic about that?
    Your taking my comments out of context, they lied to investigators that's different
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    I'm against making "stealing valor" illegal. I agree with the posters who say it is bad, but should not be illegal.

    The government has too much power already.

    Simple exposure is enough. We mere civilians can solve this sort of thing, one case at a time, as each case arises and is discovered.

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