Stolen Valor Act Ruled Constitutional By Denver Appeals Court

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Does a law making it illegal to lie about being a war hero violate the First Amendment?

The Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals says no, reversing a previous decision in 2010 by a federal judge that the Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional. The Stolen Valor Act makes it illegal to falsely claim being awarded a military medal.

The 2010 ruling centered around Colorado resident Rick Glen Strandlof, who claimed he was awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star after being wounded in Iraq. Strandlof was arrested after the military found no record of his service, and was charged with violating the Stolen Valor Act.

The Circuit Court said in its Friday ruling that "false statements of fact do not enjoy constitutional protection" unless to protect more valuable speech.

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