Stolen Valor Act – Lying Isn’t A Crime

After the Supreme Court ruled last week that the Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional, some Republicans are already moving to reconstruct the act and pass it again (“Court rejects stolen valor law, boosts Utah congressman’s idea, Tribune, June 29).

Why do these elected officials, who never fail to warn of the evils of overreaching government, favor a law that creates broad implications for the government’s ability to regulate free speech? Lying about receiving a medal is heinous, but lying isn’t generally illegal. If it were, most members of Congress would be in jail.

If we allow Congress to so tightly control this one instance of speech, the consequences could be enormous — impacting anyone who lies or stretches the truth, in public or in private. As the cornerstone of a free society, any proposed regulation over our right to free speech should be viewed with high skepticism.

We have more than enough state and federal fraud laws, we don’t need another law to single out, as despicable as it is, this particular lie.

Eric Ethington
Salt Lake City

See the LTE in the Tribune HERE

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