WUFT News

UF Law symposium discusses Stolen Valor Act

By on March 14th, 2013

The Stolen Valor Act was the focus on this year’s Media Law Symposium hosted by the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

The symposium, held Thursday in the Martin H. Levin Advocacy Center at the law school, featured a reception at 11:30 a.m., a panel at noon and a Q-and-A session afterward. It was organized by UF’s Journal of Law and Public Policy, who chose the topic of discussion.

Kara Carnley, editor-in-chief of the journal, said the topic was chosen because it has become such a focus of the Supreme Court.

The Stolen Valor Act makes it illegal to knowingly benefit from lying about receiving awards for military service. An updated version was recently introduced to the House of Representatives.

Col. Michael Smidt, staff judge advocate with U.S. Special Operations Command, said there is a clear difference in this update.

“The versions that I’ve seen have some requirements that the person knowingly tells a falsehood, and then they attempt to obtain some benefit as a result of that falsehood,” he said. “The original was if you claimed that you had an award that you didn’t have, that was enough to be criminally prosecuted.”

Smidt was one of four panelists. He said he understands why the Stolen Valor Act has become such a focus for members of the military.

“I’m sworn to uphold the Constitution,” he said, “so whatever our civilian leadership decides that means — the judiciary and political branch — that’s what we’re going to adhere to, that’s what we do as soldiers. We adhere to the decisions made by others. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have personal feelings.”

The other panelists were Lyrissa Lidsky, a media law professor at UF; Craig D. Feiser, a First Amendment and media law attorney; and Kristen Rasmussen, an attorney who wrote the amicus brief presented to the Supreme Court for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Carnley said the members of the panel were chosen because they are a well-rounded group of experts who will be able to address all of the different topics regarding the Stolen Valor Act and the Alvarez case, which was the first court case related to lying about receiving a medal of honor.

Students were given the opportunity to interact with professionals in the field who might be practicing in an area of interest to them.

Smidt hoped this symposium would help him to learn more from his fellow panelists and students in the audience, who would also hopefully benefit from the discussion.

“I think what will happen is, between the members of the panel, maybe the students will be exposed to ideas that aren’t necessarily captured in the opinions of the court, because, you know, they only have so much time and so much expertise,” he said. “And I think by bringing in people from a wide spectrum of the marketplace of ideas, they’ll be exposed to a lot of different thoughts and perspectives.”


This entry was posted in University of Florida and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in University of Florida

ShanksGooden

Shots Fired Near UF Dorm: Two People In Custody

One person who was carrying a firearm is in police custody after shots were fired at a Murphree Hall parking lot, according to an alert sent out by the university. Police continue to look for two witnesses in a blue Mazda truck last seen heading north away from campus.


Faculty Negotiator: Administration’s Newest Salary Offer Not Enough To Keep UF Competitive

University of Florida faculty representatives are not satisfied with the Board of Trustees’ most recent pay-raise offer of 2.5 percent. The two sides will meet again on July 30, said John Biro, lead faculty negotiator and UF philosophy professor.


Members of the University of Florida chapter of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity are under investigation after spitting on and taking flags from wounded veterans. The students and veterans were in Panama City Beach when the incident occurred.

Investigation Clears UF ZBT Members

Investigations found no evidence that UF’s Zeta Beta Tau chapter mistreated wounded veterans in Panama City Beach, according to a UF report released Thursday. A hearing later this summer will determine whether the chapter will be eligible to reopen, according to UF spokesperson Janine Sikes.


UF PaCE Complicates Applications To Professional Schools

The UF Pathway to Campus Enrollment program offers students admission to in-person classes after they complete UF Online courses and earn a total of 60 credits. Out of the 3,118 students who were admitted to PaCE, only 272 have accepted so far.


Members of the University of Florida chapter of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity are under investigation after spitting on and taking flags from wounded veterans. The students and veterans were in Panama City Beach when the incident occurred.

Panama City Beach Police Find ZBT Members Acted Inappropriately

Panama City Beach Police concluded in their investigation that Zeta Beta Tau fraternity members did act inappropriately toward veterans during their spring formal, no charges were filed. Members of the fraternity allegedly spit on flags and took them from wounded veterans while staying at the Laketown Wharf Resort.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments