While the Obamacare ruling is currently dominating SCOTUS-related news, another decision took place this morning. SCOTUS struck down the Stolen Valor Act, a federal law that made it illegal to lie about military honors.
From The Wall Street Journal:
The court voted 6-3 Thursday in favor of Xavier Alvarez, a former local elected official in California who falsely claimed he was a decorated war veteran.
Justices Alito, Scalia, and Thomas dissented.
Naturally, a few people made light of the decision:
I'm outraged the Supreme Court struck down the Stolen Valor Act. Now the Congressional Medal of Honor I won seems useless.
— Dan Burt (@DanBurt) June 28, 2012
#SCOTUS struck down Stolen Valor Act is slap in face of our armed forces members past and present
— Wayne Harrell (@JWayneHarrell) June 28, 2012
As the granddaughter of military and seen people locally pretend to be soldiers when they're not, striking down the Stolen Valor Act hurts.
— Megan Lavey-Heaton (@savvyliterate) June 28, 2012
I didnt lift the flag at iwo jima for this s*** MT @jstrevino "Stolen Valor" act struck down…painful to my fellow Merrill's Marauders
— mtanji (@mtanji) June 28, 2012
Big news for the alcoholic uncles of America, the Stolen Valor Act was ruled unconstitutional.
— Hatey McLife (@Hatey_McLife) June 28, 2012
Others celebrated the ruling as a victory for free speech:
Woo! Court strikes down Stolen Valor Act. Another victory for free speech.
— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) June 28, 2012
Win for free speech: Supreme Court says "right to lie about medals & military service…protected by 1st Amendment" http://t.co/I6xn3DVj
— Justin D. Martin (@Justin_D_Martin) June 28, 2012
Really puts First Amendment first. RT @mattwynn: Stolen Valor decision is intriguing, too. Go free speech, even if you're a Class A Asshat.
— Kevin Schaul (@kevinschaul) June 28, 2012
Great news for free speech. RT @katieleebarlow: Stolen Valor Act violates the First Amendment
— Will Burgess (@willburgess11) June 28, 2012
Score one for free speech. #SCOTUS affirms Ninth Cirtuit's finding that Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional. Leaves room for a new version.
— Christian Trejbal (@ctrejbal) June 28, 2012
But the general consensus on Twitter was a mix of disappointment and anger:
— Rachel Kahn Taylor (@RKahnT) June 28, 2012
— Steve Haddad (@SNHaddad) June 28, 2012
— Amber Titus (@authenticmomm) June 28, 2012
SCOTUS strikes down Stolen Valor Act! is incredibly wrong!!! lying about a medal of honor is a breach n trust not free speech smh
— Rian (@Its_RianM) June 28, 2012
Not only did they uphold Obamacare, a sham of a health care bill, but they also struck down Stolen Valor Act?
— Miss Adele McFly (@PennyDreadful81) June 28, 2012
So w/ ACA & Stolen Valor rulings today, SCOTUS basically said we don't have to like something for it to be constitutional.
— David Carnes (@davidmcarnes) June 28, 2012
How is Stolen Valor different from say impersonating a police officer which IS illegal?
— Dede (@teh_Dede) June 28, 2012
Sad. Lying about valor should not be protected speech. RT. @natlsecuritycnn: Justices dismiss Stolen Valor Act.
— Matthew Gilbertson (@MattRGilbertson) June 28, 2012
A little upset today that the Supreme Court threw out the Stolen Valor Act. I don't think this is what the 1st amendment was made for
— Michael Smith (@prezmike25) June 28, 2012
— -brittany. (@St0ny_) June 28, 2012
But the story might not be over yet.
— Ben S.(uperhoo) (@The_Superhoo) June 28, 2012
On another interesting note, as a testament to the power of Twitter, the news on Stolen Valor broke via Twitter at the same time it was announced on NBC.
NBC: Supreme Court strikes down Stolen Valor Act
— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) June 28, 2012
9th Circuit affirmed in Stolen Valor case.
— Josh Dorner (@JoshDorner) June 28, 2012
When it comes to breaking news, the MSM really is no match for Twitter.