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[86WashLRev0841] False Valor: Amending the Stolen Valor Act to Conform with the First Amendment’s Fraudulent Speech Exception

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dc.contributor.author Barnum, Jeffery C.
dc.contributor.author Washington Law Review
dc.date.accessioned 2011-12-21T16:50:36Z
dc.date.available 2011-12-21T16:50:36Z
dc.date.issued 2011-12
dc.identifier.citation 86 Wash. L. Rev. 841 (2011) en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0043-0617
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1773.1/1075
dc.description.abstract Abstract: The Stolen Valor Act (SVA or “the Act”) was enacted to protect against “fraudulent claims” of receipt of military honors or decorations. It does so by criminalizing false verbal or written claims regarding such awards. However, the Act failed to include all of the elements of an anti-fraud measure required by the First Amendment. Most critically, the SVA fails to require actual reliance on the part of the defrauded. Although fraud is generally not protected by the First Amendment, courts cannot construe the SVA as an anti-fraud measure if the statute does not require actual reliance. Therefore, the SVA as written has been subject to the higher strict scrutiny standard when challenged on First Amendment grounds. However, this oversight is easily remedied. Congress should amend the SVA to require that targets of the fraudulent claim alter their behavior based upon the false representation of military honors without necessarily suffering an economic injury. By modifying the SVA in this limited fashion, Congress will enable courts to construe the SVA as an anti-fraud measure while protecting against harm caused by false claims of military honors. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Seattle: Washington Law Review, University of Washington School of Law en_US
dc.subject Comment en_US
dc.title [86WashLRev0841] False Valor: Amending the Stolen Valor Act to Conform with the First Amendment’s Fraudulent Speech Exception en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.rights.holder Copyright 2011 by Washington Law Review Association. en_US


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