House Passes Revised Stolen Valor Act

The House approved the Stolen Valor Act of 2012 that makes it punishable for anyone to attempt to benefit by fraudulently claiming to be recipient of a military decoration or medal. House members passed the legislation on Sept. 13 by a vote of 410 to three. “Whoever, with intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit, fraudulently holds oneself out to be a recipient of a decoration or medal . . . shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than one year, or both,” reads the text of the legislation. This bill is a revised version of the original Stolen Valor Act of 2006 that the Supreme Court in June ruled was unconstitutional because it violated a citizen’s right to free speech. The reworked version does not make it a crime to make false claims, but rather to try to gain from them. The Senate has not yet voted on its version of the revised bill, S. 1728. (See also Bloomberg report and Pentagon’s Valor Website Adds Service Cross Recipients.)