US anti walt law is unconstitutional says court?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by simroy, Aug 4, 2011.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Court: Stolen Valor Act Unconstitutional
    March 24, 2011

    "Lying is Protected Free Speech""

    PASADENA -- The Stolen Valor Act, under which former water board member Xavier Alvarez was fined and ordered to perform community service in 2007, was upheld as being unconstitutional.
    The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier ruling determining that a law barring people from lying about their military heroics was a violation of free speech.

    The earlier ruling, which was made by three of the court's members in August, invalidated the 2006 act by Congress.

    Alvarez, a Pomona resident and then a member of the Three Valleys Municipal Water District board, pleaded guilty in July 2008 to falsely saying he had won the Medal of Honor. He was fined $5,000 and sentenced to three years of probation, which required community service.

    Alvarez is currently at Centinela State Prison in Imperial County for defrauding the water district after being convicted of registering an ex-wife for health benefits with the district in 2007.

    Jonathan Libby, Alvarez's public defender, said, "It affirms what I believe to be the right decision," and noted that Chief Judge Alex Kozinski's written opinion was "quite compelling."


    "I think Judge Kozinski took a much broader perspective than the original decision," Libby said, adding the judge found "complete First Amendment protection" for lying about oneself.

    The public defender said he is expecting the case to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    "If the Supreme Court decides to review it, they'll come up with same decision as the 9th Circuit did," Libby said.

    A military veteran who had attended many of Alvarez's court appearances was upset.

    "It's terrible," said Juan Rodriguez, 79, a Korean War veteran from Pomona. "What are these people doing, you know? I talked to a lot of guys in the American Legion. What is wrong with our Constitution?"

    Libby said he did not know whether Alvarez had paid his fine for the conviction but the former water board member had completed his community service.

    Michael Shapiro, a professor of law at USC, said his original opinion of the case had not changed "but positions have gotten reinforced."

    Shapiro's earlier position was that Judge Jay S. Bybee took out of context previous court cases and also argued incorrectly that untrue statements fall outside First Amendment protection.

    He said he felt the Supreme Court would not want to take the case.

    "I don't think the court is anxious to say yes or no," Shapiro said. "It's not the most sensitive case in the world. But if the court takes it, what is least likely to happen is that the court leaves it as is."

    U.S. Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd declined to comment on whether government lawyers will appeal the decision.
     
  2. "Lying is Protected Free Speech"

    Got to remember that one!
     
  3. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    Well it is if you have the US Constitution (as amended) as your (non-religious) bible.

    For the rest of us, lying (especially in Court) gets you into a world of hurt.
     
  4. So lying in court is ok then since its free speech :) Cool
     
  5. Hardly a surprise, most Septics regard their manmade constitution as an 'inspired text' ie handed down by God insome strange way so it's amending it is like trying to repeal one of the 10 commandments.

    Mind you, all they have effectively said is that standing up and saying 'I've got the CMH' as a lie is free speech.

    As soon as you gain any advantage from it, even just a free pint in the legion, well that's straighforward fraud.

    They would be better trying to get 'Deception by Walting' written into the sentencing guidelines as meriting an extra drop.

    A similar move over here would be welcome as well.
     
  6. Hugely, huge, can of worms, huge.

    The reason being; it is an offence to lie to a Federal Officer. It is a bona fide, written down, offence to lie to a Fed, and they will tell you this at interview. So on top of any porridge you get for the offences being considered you will also be charged and tried for telling porkies to a Fed if you do not cough immediately.

    This, effectively, does away with that. So I think that the Feds, Justice Dept, will have to appeal it.

    Maybe the Judge was on the rag, wanted to make a name for himself or his favourite FBI bimbo did'nt want to play hide the sausage the night before. The thing is here many judges are elected to their position and they get to sit for a year or so before re-election. This means thay have to make a name for themselves to be noticed and voted for. So, this prats decision will probably be overturned at appeal.
     
  7. Have to admit that I permitted a little walting on my behalf.
    I'd mentioned to my teenage son that, as an RAF Argosy transport support pilot, I'd dropped SAS guys (just the once on a little exercise).
    He then proceeded to tell his mates that his old man had been in the The Regiment. I did tell him off, but I think that I forgot to tell his buddies :rambo::pl:
     
  8. Nothing new in this, our lying shower in Westminster having been getting away with brash porkies for yonks, and getting plenty of coin for it.