The federal courts are wrestling with a question of both liberty and patriotism: Does the First Amendment right to free speech protect people who lie about being war heroes?
At issue is a three-year-old federal law called the Stolen Valor Act that makes it a crime punishable by up to a year in jail to falsely claim to have received a medal from the U.S. military. It is a crime even if the liar makes no effort to profit from his stolen glory.
Attorneys in Colorado and California are challenging the law on behalf of two men charged, saying the First Amendment protects almost all speech that doesn’t hurt someone else.
And be sure to reflexively mention your political affiliation when you do.
PS: If anyone cares: in my opinion the right to free speech does include the right to lie, but it doesn’t stretch to cover the right to commit fraud. Even if there’s no direct monetary consideration involved.