Anorak | Is a lie free speech? The Xavier Alvarez challenge

Is a lie free speech? The Xavier Alvarez challenge

by | 27th, February 2012

TO New York, where the United States is taking on Xavier Alvarez. According to the  Stolen Valor Act , it is a federal crime to claim wrongly that you have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States, any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration, or medal, or any colorable imitation of such item ”.

Xavier Alvarez lied that he rescued the American ambassador during the Iranian hostage crisis ”. He lied when he said he played professional hockey and married a Mexican starlet. He added:

“I’m a retired marine of 25 years. I retired in the year 2001. Back in 1987, I was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. I got wounded many times by the same guy. I’m still around.”

For that lie, Alvarez earned 416 hours of community service, a fine of $5,000 and three years probation. Alvarez won an appeal. The appeal judges ruled:

We have no doubt that society would be better off if Alvarez would stop spreading worthless, ridiculous, and offensive untruths. But, given our historical skepticism of permitting the government to police the line between truth and falsity, and between valuable speech and drivel, we presumptively protect all speech, including false statements, in order that clearly protected speech may flower in the shelter of the First Amendment.

While asserting that they

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Posted: 27th, February 2012 | In: News Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink