Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare, Strikes Down Stolen Valor Act
The United States Supreme
Court upheld major provisions of the Affordable Health Care for America
Act (HR 3962-Public Law 111-192) this week. FRA successfully fought in
Congress to ensure TRICARE and Department of
Veterans’ Affairs (VA) healthcare programs were excluded from the
broad reform legislation, sometimes referred to as
“Obamacare.” Medical services provided through TRICARE or
the VA are not impacted by this week’s Supreme Court
Unfortunately, the Court also declared the “Stolen Valor
Act” unconstitutional. FRA is one of 25 military and veterans
organizations that believe there should be legal consequences for anyone
who intentionally fabricates military service and honors, and signed a
Friend of the Court brief (a.k.a. amicus curiae) in conjunction with the
U.S. v. Alverez case.
Signed into law in 2005, the law prohibited anyone from falsely
claiming receipt of military decorations or medals. Xavier Alvarez, a
member of the Three Valley Water District Board of Directors in
California, falsely claimed during a
public meeting that he was a retired Marine, had been wounded many times
in combat, and had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Alvarez never served in the military, pleaded guilty to violating the
Stolen Valor Act and appealed its constitutionality on the grounds that
it violated his First Amendment rights to free speech.
The Court decided (6-3) that Congress does not have the
constitutional authority to prohibit people from lying about their
military awards and decorations in its ruling on the case.