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Rick Strandlof Case In Colorado Could Determine Future Of Stolen Valor Act

02/ 2/10 01:07 PM ET   AP

Army Deployment

DENVER — A federal law against lying about military medals is facing First Amendment challenges in Colorado and California.

Lawyers in both cases have made similar arguments against the Stolen Valor Act, saying that lying is protected by the First Amendment unless it does real harm.

In California, a judge rejected a motion to dismiss a charge against Xavier Alvarez of falsely claiming he received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration. Alvarez is appealing on free speech grounds.

In Colorado, Richard Glen Strandlof is awaiting trial on charges of falsely claiming he received a Purple Heart and Silver Star.

He pleaded not guilty. The judge hasn't ruled on motions raising the free speech argument.

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Filed by Ethan Axelrod  |