The Value of Valor: Money, Medals and Military Labor

Mateo Taussig-Rubbo

SUNY Buffalo Law School

April 2, 2013

North Dakota Law Review, Vol. 88, p. 2, (2012 Forthcoming)
SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-041

The United States Supreme Court recently overturned the Stolen Valor Act on the grounds that the law’s blanket prohibition on falsely claiming to have received a military medal or decoration violated the First Amendment right to free speech. This Article uses the controversy provoked by the law to explore the implications of offering compensation for military service in the form of medals. How is compensation in medals related to monetary compensation? Querying the distinctions between money and medals — and the ways in which the boundaries around medals are drawn and policed — offers a means of considering the forms of value that underlie compensation for the work of those who fight in the name of the nation. In an era where value is increasingly assessed in monetary terms, what might medals tell us about the resistance of certain forms of value to such conversion? Furthermore, understanding the relation between medals and money is of vital importance because, this Article contends, the government’s increased use of private military contractors, who are ineligible for most military medals, constitutes a retrenchment from a workforce that is paid in both forms of value — honor and money — to one that is paid in money alone.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: Stolen Valor Act, military labor, military outsourcing

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Date posted: February 25, 2012 ; Last revised: April 4, 2013

Suggested Citation

Taussig-Rubbo, Mateo, The Value of Valor: Money, Medals and Military Labor (April 2, 2013). North Dakota Law Review, Vol. 88, p. 2, (2012 Forthcoming); SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-041. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2010707 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2010707

Contact Information

Mateo Taussig-Rubbo (Contact Author)
SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )
School of Law
425 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716 645-5992 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.buffalo.edu

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