From The Republican of Springfield, Mass.:
Embellishing one's personal history is not a crime. While you might well wonder about someone who would concoct a story in which he is a decorated war hero when he is, in fact, nothing of the sort, you very likely wouldn't want the individual to run afoul of the law because of his prevarications.
You might find yourself wondering even more about a law that criminalizes such fabrications. Doesn't the First Amendment to our Constitution, the primary element in our nation's Bill of Rights, specifically prohibit the government from silencing citizens? Nonetheless, the Stolen Valor Act made it a crime to lie about having received military medals.
What then is one to think about three justices on the Supreme Court believing that such a law is perfectly OK?
Thankfully, the other six justices prevailed, finding in favor of speech, in favor of one of the most fundamental rights in our democracy.
In the case before the Supreme Court, a California man claimed to have been awarded the Medal of Honor. He hadn't, and was found guilty of violating the anti-lying law.
Most people would not condone such behavior. But few would find the tale-teller's behavior criminal.
It's particularly odd that the three justices who were OK with the liar-law are so-called conservatives, judges who profess to look to the original words of the Constitution to assess the founder's intent.
The First Amendment reads, in part: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech."
Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito might wish to take another look at the document that they claim to so revere. The meaning should be crystal clear, to liberals and conservatives alike.
The government doesn't get to decide what the citizens can say. Even when what they are saying is a whole lot less than credible.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.