Kent Conrad To Introduce New And Improved Military Lying Law
Recently the Supreme Court struck down the Stolen Valor Act, which made it a federal crime to lie about aspects of military service even if the lie wasn’t involved in any sort of fraud. The high court, rightly, concluded that such a broad prohibition infringes upon free speech.
Senator Kent Conrad, apparently wanting to be remembered for something other than his Countrywide VIP loan scandal and insider trading allegations, is backing a new version of the law (he sponsored the original) which would only make it illegal to lie about military service for gain (like to obtain a job or a loan or something).
Conrad said that while the new bill is similar to the Stolen Valor Act, it was carefully written to avoid falling into the same constitutional problems.
The Military Service Integrity Act would instead target those “with the intent of securing a tangible benefit or personal gain” through their lies. That includes trying to get military service benefits, employment advancement or financial gain, as well as trying to affect the outcome of court proceedings or boosting personal credibility in a political campaign.
“By providing these more specific and limited definitions, our lawyers tell us that they believe this would pass constitutional muster,” Conrad said.
I don’t doubt that this law will pass constitutional muster. Lying to commit fraud is not protected speech, though I wonder if that sort of fraud isn’t already covered by existing law.
Regardless, when can we get the law against politicians like Senator Conrad telling us lies? Because he’s had some whoppers in his career, including the idea that the expiration of the Bush tax cuts isn’t a tax hike and the idea that Obamacare won’t add to the national debt and isn’t a a government take over of health care.Tags: free speech, Kent Conrad, North Dakota News, stolen valor act