Free Speech, Lies And 'Stolen Valor'

Free Speech, Lies And 'Stolen Valor'

The Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment's free speech protections extend to "contemptible" lies. Is there another way to protect the virtue of military honors?

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Stolen Valor Act, a law that made it a crime to lie about receiving military decorations. The 6-3 decision was hailed by civil libertarians and media organizations as an affirmation that government cannot -- and should not -- criminalize speech, including "contemptible" lies. But many veterans say the integrity of the entire military honor system is threatened when people lie about receiving certain awards, including the Medal of Honor. We explore what comes next.

Guests

James Dao

Reporter, New York Times; Co-editor, "At War" Blog, NYTimes.com

Mark Seavey

Director of New Media, The American Legion

Ken Paulson

President and CEO, the First Amendment Center

Related Links

Supreme Court Decision On The Stolen Valor Act

The full text of the Supreme Court opinion in United States v. Alvarez:

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.