High court dilemma: Can a lie about a war medal be crime?

WASHINGTON (AP) – Xavier Alvarez was in good company when he stood up at a public meeting and called himself a wounded war veteran who had received the top military award, the Medal of Honor. Alvarez was lying about his medal, his wounds and his military service, but he wasn’t the first man to invent war exploits. He was, however, one of the first people prosecuted under a 2006 federal law aimed at curbing false claims of military valor. Concerns that the law improperly limits speech and turns people into criminals for things they say, rather than do, will be key issues as the Supreme Court reviews his case and the Stolen Valor Act. The justices hear arguments on Wednesday, the birthday of Gen. George Washington, who established the U.S. military awards system.

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