Freedom of Speech and False Statements


United States v. Alvarez

The Court agreed on Monday, October 17 to hear arguments in a case addressing whether patently false statements are protected by the Freedom of Speech clause of the First Amendment. Specifically, the Court will examine the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, which makes it a crime for an individual to falsely claim that they have received a military decoration. The case is particularly noteworthy because, while the Court has previously tolerated laws forbidding libel and other forms of false statements in specific contexts, it remains unclear whether false statements, in general, can be prohibited.

The case is No. 11-210, United States v. Alvarez