H.R. 258: Don’t Lie About Military Medals for Money

H.R. 258: “The Stolen Valor Act of 2013” penalizes people with a fine and up to a year in prison if they wear a military medal they didn’t earn in order to get money, property, or any other tangible benefit. A previous version of this bill was ruled unconstitutional.

* Get all the details in Congressional Dish episode CD029

Background

The first “Stolen Valor Act” was signed by President Bush in 2006 and it said that a person could be penalized for pretending to have a medal of honor for military service. However, in June 2012 the Supreme Court ruled that lying, even about receiving a medal of honor, is protected speech under the First Amendment, rendering the original Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional and void.

Bill Highlights

Section 2: Prohibits lying about medals to get benefits

(2)(b) If you wear a medal you did not earn in order to gain money, property, or other tangible benefit, you have committed fraud and will be fined and sentenced to up to one year in prison.

Bill Status

H.R. 258 passed the House of Representatives overwhelmingly on May 20, 2013. It now moves into the Senate.

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