Sunday, November 13, 2011

Stolen Valor, Wasted Time

Goerge Will writes about a case before the US Supreme Court over the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act.  The act, which basically makes it a crime to falsely claim to have been awarded a military medal or decoration, passed both houses of congress without dissent and was signed into law by President Bush in 2005.  Will correctly describes the law as "a compound of political pandering and moral exhibitionism," and argues that it should be ruled unconsitutional as a violation of the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, the claim made by the defendent in the particular case now before the Court.

I have to agree.  What is it they say about acts that pass Congress by 100%? 

But had the law been before the Senate in 2011 instead of 2005, you can be sure there would have been at least one dissenting vote.  No doubt the junior Senator from Connecticut, Democrat Richard Blumenthal, who lied about his military service in Vietnam during his campaign, would have found serious consitutional flaws in the proposed law and perhaps even could have motivated enough of his colleagues to put a stop to this assault on liberty.

More seriously, aside from the constitutional issues, you would think that the mere exposure of such behavior would suffice as its own corrective.  Isn't the price for just being strange punishment enough?  But then, the good people of Connecticut knew Blumenthal had lied about his service and voted for him anyway.  He was a dependable liberal and only dependable liberals get elected in that state. 

Nevertheless, while such lying makes him, for most of the country anyway, more than a bit weird, it shouldn't make him a criminal as well.  As a politician, he'll have plenty of other opportunities for that.

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