Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gov. To Judge: Please Drop This Case; We Didn't Know We Violated His Constitutional Rights...

Marine Veteran, Brandon Raub, was falsely arrested, forcibly detained, involuntarily held at a psychiatric facility for a week, and the FBI, Secret Service, and Local Police now argue that his claim against them should be dropped because they did not know they were violating his Constitutional rights. Raub's lawyers want the court to deny the Feds the motion to dismiss the case.

"...In asking the court to reject motions to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the arresting officers and mental health workers involved in Raub’s involuntary commitment, Institute attorneys challenged the government officials’ contentions that they did not know they were violating Raub’s First and Fourth Amendment rights, as well as the manner in which Virginia’s civil commitment statutes are being used to silence individuals engaged in lawfully exercising their free speech rights..."

The reason he was arrested, in the first place, was because of alleged controversial song lyrics and political views posted on his Facebook page.

Court documents show that Raub, was seized and detained as part of the federal government's "Operation Vigilant Eagle," a program that "...involves the systematic surveillance of military veterans who express views critical of the government..."

The existence of this program itself, the specific targeting of a particular group, in this case military veterans, is of course, itself, unconstitutional, but let's leave that for another article at another time.

In the Brandon Raub case, the government released Raub, after he lawyered up with civil rights attorney, John Whitehead, of the Rutherford Institute, who came to his aid, after being contacted by Raub's family, after his arrest on August 16, 2012.

The events leading up to his release include the following:
"...On Aug. 16, 2012, Chesterfield police, Secret Service and FBI agents arrived at Brandon Raub’s home, asking to speak with him about his Facebook posts. Like many Facebook users, Raub, a Marine who has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, uses his Facebook page to post song lyrics and air his political opinions. Without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or reading him his rights, law enforcement officials handcuffed Raub and transported him to police headquarters, then to John Randolph Medical Center, where he was held against his will. In a hearing on Aug. 20, mental health personnel allegedly pointed to Raub’s Facebook posts as the reason for his incarceration. While Raub stated that the Facebook posts were being read out of context, a Special Justice ordered Raub be held up to 30 more days for psychological evaluation and treatment..." (according to Rutherford Institute Statement dated: July 17, 2013)
The Rutherford Institute attorneys declare that:
"...In coming to Raub’s aid, Institute attorneys challenged the government’s actions as procedurally improper, legally unjustified, and in violation of Raub’s First Amendment rights. On Aug. 23, Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett ordered Raub’s immediate release, stating that the government’s case was “so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.”
And a statement from the attorneys says that:
"...In filing suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Institute attorneys asked that the harm done to Raub by government officials be acknowledged, the violation of his First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights be rectified, and damages be awarded for the harm caused by the deprivation of his constitutional rights..."
Principal attorney in the case, President of the Rutherford Institute, John Whitehead said
"...It’s bad enough that the government is targeting military veterans for expressing their discontent over America’s rapid transition to a police state, but for any government official to suggest that they shouldn’t be held accountable for violating a citizen’s rights on the grounds that they were unaware of the Constitution’s prohibitions makes a mockery of our so-called system of representative government..."

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