"After an hourlong hearing, Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharrett said an involuntary commitment petition issued against Brandon J. Raub was invalid because it contained no allegation or basis to holding him.
“The petition is so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy,” said the release order signed by the judge and sought by lawyers Anthony F. Troy and Brian D. Fowler.
Sharrett said that he was shocked by the failure of a magistrate to not include in the order any grounds for holding Raub, a Chesterfield resident who was transferred from John Randolph Hospital in Hopewell to the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center."
I have long stated that the 1st Amendment protects the right of the individual to not only be stupid, but demonstrate how stupid they are, to the rest of the World. The 5th Amendment comes into play into this case as well. It provides that "No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."
Last week, Brandon Raub, a US Citizen, and Veteran of the US Marine Corps, was detained, based on "tips" about his Facebook postings. According to some reports, the US Secret Service, the FBI, and County Sheriff's office were involved and he ended up in involuntary detention for 32 days (so far) for "mental health" observation. So far, the FB postings I've become aware of, demonstrate a propensity for him to believe in various Conspiracy Theories, surrounding 9/11 and other events of historical relevance, but I've seen no indication that he has attempted to commit or conspire to commit any crimes. It does appear that he believes that the Nation is headed towards Civil War or Revolution in the near future, but I have seen nothing that indicates that he is calling for Armed Conflict, only that he believes it is coming, and that those opposed to the government will ask him to join their side, as a leader.
Some have speculated that there must be more behind the scenes, than what has been published about him, and his condition. "They" have stated their faith in the authorities that made the decision. And in most cases, I too extend the benefit of the doubt to my Brothers in Blue, but they are not infallible, and they are not all equal.
Now, I am not defending his rants, but I am defending his right to believe those things, and his right to tell the world about them. I think his 9/11 Conspiracy Theories are downright idiotic, though it is usually people smarter than me that are able to connect dots with lines that don't exist. The 1st Amendment doesn't protect only politically correct, uncontroversial, or unoffensive Speech. It protects offensive, politically incorrect, & incorrect opinion. It protects political speech against the government and ruling politicians.
Like Raub, I think a Civil War may be coming. I fear it may be coming. There is widespread support for a government spending out of control, doing things which the US Constitution does not support. And there is backlash to that. I believe it would be counterproductive, to the goals of Constitutionalists, for the Nation to devolve into war. I hold that if they cannot convince the People of the United States, with rhetoric, of the importance and value of the Bill of Rights, and the US Constitution, there is no amount of violence that would convince the people otherwise. Conversely, a Civil War would be sufficient excuse for their opposition to re-write the Constitution, or at least "temporarily" set aside the Bill of Rights.
Raub, is a difficult person for the average person to defend. Few people believe in the whacky Conspiracy Theories he spouts. Some might even call him paranoid. But paranoia is a subjective diagnosis. It rests on the fears of the individual being "baseless." And the information known in this case does not support his fears being "baseless." No information has been published giving a basis for crime or danger to anyone. He's vocally suspicious of his government, and his government has removed his liberty. His government has given a base for his fears.
I have engaged in verbal combat with all kinds of loons and quacks, as well as those across the political spectrum. It is my 1st Amendment Right to point out the fallacies of their arguments. In the course of the last few years, I've come across Islamists, Socialists, Communists, Conspiracy Theorists, as well as Republicans, Democrats, Constitutionalists, Isolationists, Libertarians, Militant LGBTers, and various other stripes. Some have accused me of wishing to deny their Rights to Free Speech, because I was exercising my own. But the bottom line is that Free Speech is every Citizen's Right, even those that disagree with me, and even those that believe stuff that is bats*** crazy. One even has a 1st Amendment Right to argue that the 1st Amendment should be repealed. The 1st Amendment protects the most unsavory of arguments. It just doesn't protect speech that conspires to commit crimes, nor does it protect crimes committed (including trespassing, espionage, or treason) prior to, during, or after the Right of Free Speech is invoked.
While I believe Raub would have been better served having exercised his Right to Remain Silent, rather than his Right to Free Speech, he also has a Right to Due Process, PRIOR to him being denied his Right to Liberty. And his detention is more likely to push more to fear their government, than to convince Conspiracy Theorists of the errors of their illogic.
((And for the record, having Adam Kokesh in one's defense team is a bad move. But I'm not going to link to that. You'll have to go to TAH to view the video: http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=31653))
In EVERY case, the government has the burden of proof and in this case it has not proven, in the court of public opinion, that Raub's 1st or 5th Amendment Rights should be revoked.
Even Rachel Maddow found the concept of preventive detention to be abhorrent, when proposed by her favored politician. And he was talking about enemy combatants: