OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Obama Health Care Law; Declares Lying About Receiving the Medal of Honor is Free Speech

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 28, 2012

In a busy day at the Supreme Court, the justices issued their first opinion of the day.  They ruled 6-3 in United States v. Alvarez that it is within a person’s First Amendment rights to lie about receiving the Medal of Honor, striking down the Stolen Valor Act as unconstitutional.  Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joined conservative swing voter Anthony Kennedy and the court’s four liberal justices: Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  The dissenters were conservative justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia.  Kennedy authored the opinion.

The second opinion of the day was the one everyone was waiting for: in a 5-4 decision in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the entire health care law officially known as the Affordable Care Act but often called Obamacare.  The individual mandate was held unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause but was upheld under the power to tax.  The shocker: swing voter Anthony Kennedy was in the dissent.  It was conservative Chief Justice John Roberts who not only voted with the four liberal justices but who wrote the opinion.

4 Responses to “U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Obama Health Care Law; Declares Lying About Receiving the Medal of Honor is Free Speech”

  1. SCWoman said

    This is really awful. Now we can be taxed just for breathing.

  2. Alex Scott said

    While freedom of political speech is sacrosanct, speech in general has always been subject to some restrictions. Defamation, for example, is not protected. It is true the Constitution does not mandate “prior restraint,” that is, if you expect somebody to defame, you cannot prohibit it in advance. But once uttered, defamation creates its own civil liability, and in some areas criminal liability and is generally not protected by the First Amendment. It occurs to me that lying about receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor is, in fact, defaming all those who have received it; a form of tarnish that should not receive Constitutional protection. I am saddened that Chief Justice Roberts joined this opinion. Even more so than his opinion about Obamacare. Perhaps those who lie about receiving this award should, at the very least, be found in contempt of Congress.

  3. Alberta said

    i do check this site often as it is very good and informative and will look out for an answer!

  4. […] of marriage, Prop 8, or DOMA is a tax, and comes up with a ruling that surprises everyone (see excerpt of June 28 post below), but then again there is the marriage […]

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