VICTORY: Federal Court Affirms 1st & 4th Amdt. Rights, Denies Gov’t Attempt to Dismiss Lawsuit Over Marine’s Wrongful Arrest, Detention Due to Facebook Posts
VICTORY: Federal Court Affirms 1st & 4th Amdt. Rights, Denies Gov’t Attempt to Dismiss Lawsuit Over Marine’s Wrongful Arrest, Detention Due to Facebook Posts August 02, 2013 RICHMOND, Va. — In a victory for free speech and the right to be free from wrongful arrest, a federal court has rejected the government’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit on behalf of a decorated Marine who was arrested by a swarm of FBI, Secret Service agents and local police and forcibly detained in a psychiatric ward for a week because of controversial song lyrics and political views posted on his Facebook page. In allowing the case to move forward, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson ruled that The Rutherford Institute had alleged sufficient facts to indicate that Marine Brandon Raub’s involuntary commitment violated his rights under the U.S. Constitution’s First and Fourth Amendments. Institute attorneys filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court on behalf of Raub, alleging that his seizure and detention were the result of a federal government program code-named “Operation Vigilant Eagle” that involves the systematic surveillance of military veterans who express views critical of the government. The complaint alleges that the attempt to label Raub as “mentally ill” and his subsequent involuntary commitment was a pretext designed to silence speech critical of the government.