Lawyers: Law on lying gives govt. too much power

DENVER — Attorneys for a Colorado man who falsely claimed to be a decorated war veteran say a law making such lies illegal gives the government too much power to regulate speech.

Lawyers for Rick Strandlof filed a brief with a Denver federal appeals court this week. Strandlof was charged with violating the Stolen Valor Act. The law makes it a crime punishable by jail time to falsely claim to have been awarded a military medal.

A federal judge threw the case out in July, saying the law was unconstitutional because the government didn’t show it had a compelling reason to restrict that kind of speech, even if it’s false.

Prosecutors appealed, saying the government needs to protect the integrity and value of medals that recognize extraordinary service.

The law is also being challenged in California.



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