Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Stolen Valor Act, Holds That Knowing Lies About Whether One Has Received Medals Are Generally Constitutionally Protected

The 2-to-1 decision, came in United States v. Alvarez; I think that this is probably not quite right, see this amicus brief I filed in a similar case, though I think the question — what restrictions does the First Amendment impose on laws that restrict knowing lies? — is difficult, and the majority makes a solid argument for its position. I’m not sure whether I’ll have a chance to blog more about this in the next few days, but I thought I’d note the decision.

Note, by the way, that the decision did indeed hold that the Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional even if limited to knowing falsehoods (a limiting construction that the court could have and should have imposed, if it were sufficient to make the statute constitutional); see PDF pp. 19-20.

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