Are invented war exploits a crime?
Washington - Xavier Alvarez stood up at a public meeting and called himself a wounded war veteran who had received the top military award, the Medal of Honour.
Alvarez was lying about his medal, his wounds and his military service, but he wasn't the first man to invent war exploits.
He was, however, one of the first people prosecuted under a 2006 federal law aimed at curbing false claims of military valour.
Concerns that the law improperly limits speech and turns people into criminals for things they say, rather than do, will be key issues as the Supreme Court reviews his case and the Stolen Valour Act.
The justices hear arguments on Wednesday, the birthday of General George Washington, who established the US military awards system.