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Congressman Tom Marino

Representing the 10th District of Pennsylvania

Marino Cosponsors Stolen Valor Act

July 17, 2012
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Tom Marino joined as a cosponsor to H.R. 1775, the proposed Stolen Valor Act.

Introduced by Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV), H.R. 1775 would subject an individual who knowingly makes a misrepresentation regarding his or her military service to a fine and/or a term of imprisonment.

The Stolen Valor Act was originally passed without a single opposition vote in the 109th Congress, and was signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 20, 2006.

The 2006 law amended the federal criminal code to expand the prohibition against wearing, manufacturing, or selling military decorations or medals without legal authorization to do so, and prohibited individuals from falsely claiming to have been awarded such a service medal or decoration.

On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court struck down the 2005 law, declaring it in violation of the First Amendment, and therefore, unconstitutional. 

“Despite its intention to protect the honor, record, and reputation of veterans and current members of our Armed Services, the Stolen Valor Act was declared unconstitutional,” Marino said.  “It is our obligation to these decorated men and women to ensure that their achievements and accolades are respected.  Mr. Heck’s legislation corrects the Constitutional concerns of the original bill and would punish only those who seek to gain anything of value from the misrepresentation of their military service.”

The Stolen Valor Act of 2011 was referred to the House Judiciary Committee, of which Marino is a member and currently has 81 bi-partisan cosponsors.