“A federal appeals court on Monday tossed out a veteran’s conviction for wearing military medals he didn’t earn, saying it was a form of free speech protected by the Constitution,” reports military.com.
That is not just wrong, it’s fraudulent.
The 2007 Stolen Valor Act outlawed falsely claiming military accomplishments, but the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down in 2012 as a violation of free speech protections. A subsequent law made it a crime to profit financially by lying about military service.
Why can’t I affix “Dr.” or “Rev.” to my name, so long as I don’t prescribe medicine or perform weddings?
We have lost it as a culture when we allow people to lie about their experiences and qualifications with impunity. I realize judges can’t see that because lawyers are professional liars, but we should be confident a vet wearing a Bronze Star or Purple Heart actually earned it. If not, we begin to suspect that they’re all frauds.
That’s not fair to the men and women who earned those honors.