A federal appeals court overturned the conviction of an Idaho man for wearing military commendations that were unearned.
Elven Joe Swisher was convicted under the “Stolen Valor” law that prohibits individuals from falsely claiming military accomplishments.
The law was signed by George W. Bush in 2006 but struck down in 2012 by the U.S. Supreme Court as a violation of the 1st Amendment.
Swisher was convicted in 2007, before the Supreme Court ruled on the matter.
A Marine Corps veteran, Swisher wore a Purple Heart medal to the stand during a murder case in 2005. The Marine vet had never been wounded in the line of duty.
Since the Stolen Valor Act was struck down by the highest court in the land, Congress went back to the drawing table and passed new laws that prohibited from anyone profiting financially from a false military background. President Obama signed the law in 2013.
Before and after their victory with military service, individuals in the gay community have commonly and falsely wore military uniforms in gay pride events around the nation.
The distinction between legitimate veterans and those simply dressing up was muddled in 2012 when the Department of Defense changed its policy to allow active duty personnel to wear their uniforms in “Pride” events.