By Dan Zhang
Dan Zhang is a student at the University of Pennsylvania.
In United States v. Swisher (2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, citing United States v. Perelman (2012) , held that the First Amendment does not prevent Congress from criminalizing the act of wearing military medals without authorization and with intent to deceive.  This ruling may have implications for future cases involving First Amendment rights.
The defendant, Elvin Swisher, was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps from 1954 to 1957. Since being honorably discharged, Swisher twice applied for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (formerly the Veterans Administration), once in 1958 and again in 2001. In both claims, Swisher recounted events that involved him being awarded several military medals. Swisher’s 2001 claim for service-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder benefits was honored. However, in 2002, the VA received information from military personnel that the 2001 application contained fraudulent information. In 2006, further investigation demonstrated that the application was indeed forged, and the VA reversed its 2001 decision, compelling Swisher to pay back the benefits.
By Dan Zhang
In Flynn v. Holder (2011), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a common method of bone marrow donation – “peripheral blood stem cell apheresis” – did not fall under the ban on compensated organ donation under the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984. 
The plaintiffs consisted of relatives of sick persons in need of bone marrow transplantation, a medical expert on bone marrow transplantation, and a non-profit seeking to launch a program offering paid incentives for bone marrow donors. Their case against the government was brought to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after being dismissed by the District Court for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. 
Section 301 of NOTA places a ban on compensating organ donors, defining human organs as: “the human kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas, bone marrow, cornea, eye, bone, and skin, and any other human organ specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services by regulation.”  The regulation further adds: “[the] intestine, including the esophagus, stomach, small and/or large intestine, or any portion of the gastrointestinal tract.”