Appeals court to rehear military medals conviction

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has agreed to rehear the case of a man convicted in Idaho of wearing military medals he did not earn.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday a larger, en banc panel of the court would consider Elven Joe Swisher's case. A three-judge panel of the same court upheld Swisher's conviction last year despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said falsely claiming to have received a military medal was protected free speech.

The 9th Circuit panel said Swisher's case was different because he wore the medals. Relying on an earlier 9th Circuit ruling, the panel said wearing medals without authorization and with the intent to deceive was not protected free speech.

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