Your Little Lies Are Constitutionally Protected, For Now

“If false factual statements are unprotected, then the government can prosecute not only the man who tells tall tales of winning the congressional Medal of Honor, but also the JDater who falsely claims he’s Jewish or the dentist who assures you it won’t hurt a bit. Phrases such as ‘I’m working late tonight, hunny,’ ‘I got stuck in traffic’ and ‘I didn’t inhale’ could all be made into crimes. Without the robust protections of the 1st Amendment, the white lies, exaggerations and deceptions that are an integral part of human intercourse would become targets of censorship.”
— Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals explains the why the court overturned the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, which “made it a crime punishable by up to a year in jail to falsely claim to have received high military decorations.” The decision is expected to go to the Supreme Court.