United States v. Strandlof

Freedom of Expression & Religion
Case No. No. 09-CR-00497-REB, United States District Court, District of Colorado
ACLU Case No. 2009-21


In a case pending in federal district court, the defendant is charged with violating the Stolen Valor Act of 2005. The statute makes it a crime for a person to falsely claim to have been awarded any of several military decorations or medals. The false statement, by itself, is sufficient for conviction. The government need not prove that defendant gained anything of value or that anyone was harmed.

The defendant moved to dismiss on the ground that the statute violated the First Amendment. After Judge Blackburn issued an order inviting amicus briefs, the ACLU of Colorado responded with a brief arguing that the statute criminalizes pure speech and violates the right of free expression.


Christopher P. Beall
Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado Legal Director

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