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Associated Press, Published August 19 2010

Ruling in military honors case disappoints Conrad

BISMARCK (AP) — North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad on Thursday said he's disappointed by a federal appeals court ruling that people can't be prosecuted for lying about military medals.

Conrad was the chief Senate sponsor of the "Stolen Valor Act" that Congress approved in 2006.

It carries penalties if someone falsely claims to have earned military decorations. Someone who lies about getting the Medal of Honor or the Purple Heart could get up to a year in prison.

A federal appeals court in California ruled this week that the law is an unconstitutional infringement on free-speech rights. The decision says the government shouldn't be able to regulate speech "solely because it is a lie."

Conrad says the ruling "dishonors those who fought bravely for our country."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.