Freedom of Speech? College Student When Police Stopped from Handing out Copies of the Constitution (+video)

Photo Credit: AFP

Photo Credit: AFP

A college student from California is making waves this week after being told he couldn’t pass out copies of the United States Constitution on campus.

Robert Van Tuinen, 25, was attempting to hand out complimentary copies of the US Constitution at Modesto Junior College in central California on Tuesday when a police officer informed him that he could only distribute pamphlets on campus if done from within a designated free-speech area that requires weeks of notice to reserve.

“Anytime anything is being passed out it has to be… you have to go through the Student Development office,” said the officer.

“Don’t I have free speech, sir?” Van Tuinen responded, clutching copies of the Constitution.

“But do you know what this is?” he asked. “What are the rules? Why are the rules tied to my free speech?”

Read more from this story HERE.

University Bans ‘Needlessly Provocative’ Ann Coulter, Welcomes Advocate of Bestiality, Euthenasia and Infanticide

photo credit: gage skidmoreAfter effectively barring conservative columnist Ann Coulter from speaking on campus last week, the Jesuit college Fordham University welcomed infanticide and bestiality advocate Peter Singer for a panel discussion on Friday.

According to Fordham’s media relations website, Singer, a tenured Princeton bioethics professor, spoke from 4 to 6 p.m. in a panel the university promised “will provoke Christians to think about other animals in new ways.”

Singer has long lamented the societal stigma against having sex with animals.

“Not so long ago,” Singer wrote in one essay, “any form of sexuality not leading to the conception of children was seen as, at best, wanton lust, or worse, a perversion. One by one, the taboos have fallen. But … not every taboo has crumbled.”

In the essay, titled “Heavy Petting,” Singer concluded that “sex across the species barrier,” while not normal, “ceases to be an offence [sic] to our status and dignity as human beings.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Video: Interview with Facebook-posting Marine Veteran: “I am Scared for My Country”

In an interview with Attorney John Whitehead today, Marine Veteran Brandon Raub describes his arrest for his Facebook posts, his incarceration in a psych ward, and the state of the country: “I’m pretty tough, so I rolled with the punches. But it made me scared for my country that a man can be snatched out of his property without being read his rights, I think it should be very alarming to all Americans.” Here’s the interview:

Video: Attorney says psychiatrist threatened to brainwash Marine vet Raub with psychotropic meds

This is a great interview where Glen Beck talks to Brandon Raub’s attorney, John Whitehead. Both Glen Beck and Whitehead state that they’ve been “getting calls from everybody,” including veterans’ organizations, reporting law enforcement harassment of war veterans. In Raub’s case, not only was he involuntarily committed due to this harassment, but also a psychiatrist threatened to forcibly medicate him. Whitehead reports that he is preparing a lawsuit against the government due to this outrageous violation of Raub’s rights.

Va. judge, in surprise move, orders immediate release of Marine vet Brandon Raub

In an unexpected ruling handed down today by Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett, the judge dismissed the government’s case against Brandon Raub, the Marine who was arrested by local police and FBI agents, detained in a psychiatric ward and forced to undergo psychological evaluations based solely on the controversial nature of lines from song lyrics, political messages and virtual card games which he posted to his private Facebook page. Judge Sharrett dismissed the petition for involuntary commitment on the grounds that the petition “is so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.” Raub is expected to be released immediately.

“This is a great victory for the First Amendment and the rule of law,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Brandon Raub was arrested with no warning, targeted for doing nothing more than speaking out against the government, detained against his will, and isolated from his family, friends and attorneys. These are the kinds of things that take place in totalitarian societies. Today, at least, Judge Allan Sharrett proved that justice can still prevail in America.”

Brandon Raub, a former Marine who has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was detained by FBI agents and police officers at his home in Chesterfield County based upon the nature of content posted to his Facebook page in recent months. Like many Facebook users, Raub uses his Facebook page to post song lyrics and air his political opinions, as well as engage in virtual online games with other users. On Thursday, August 16, 2012, police and FBI agents arrived at Raub’s home, asking to speak with him about his Facebook posts. They did not provide Raub with a search warrant. Raub was cooperative and agreed to speak with them. Without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or reading him his rights, law enforcement officials then handcuffed Raub and transported him first to the police headquarters, then to John Randolph Medical Center, where he was held against his will due to alleged concerns that his Facebook posts were “terrorist in nature.” Outraged onlookers filmed the arrest and posted the footage to YouTube.

In a hearing before Special Justice Walter Douglas Stokes on August 20, government officials again pointed to Raub’s Facebook posts as the sole reason for their concern and for his continued incarceration. Ignoring Raub’s explanations about the fact that the FB posts were being read out of context and his attorney’s First Amendment defense, Stokes sentenced the former Marine to up to 30 days’ further confinement in a psychiatric ward and signed a court order for Raub’s involuntary admission to the Veterans Hospital in Salem. In coming to Raub’s defense, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute challenged the actions of Chesterfield County, Va. as procedurally improper, legally unjustified, and in violation of Raub’s First Amendment rights. Institute attorneys appeared before the Circuit Court on August 23 to request that Raub be transferred back to John Randolph Medical Center while Institute attorneys attempted to secure his release. However, Judge Allan Sharrett declared the government’s case to be lacking in factual allegations and ordered Raub immediately released.

Read more from this story HERE.

Video: Fox News Interview with Veteran Brandon Raub’s Attorney reveals info about Marine’s background, circumstances

In this Fox News 19 “Reality Check,” Veteran Brandon Raub’s attorney is interviewed about Mr. Raub’s involuntary commitment at a mental hospital. Additional details about Raub’s background, including the fact that he was a straight-A student, are revealed in this newscast.

Video: Interview with Facebook-posting Marine Vet, now detained for 30-days in Psych Ward

Veteran of the Afghan and Iraq wars, ex-Marine Brandon Raub was interviewed yesterday about his 30-day commitment to a psych ward because of his anti-federal government Facebook postings:

Fox News finally reports: Marine vet detained for another month due to Facebook posts

A former Marine involuntarily detained for psychiatric evaluation for posting strident anti-government messages on Facebook has received an outpouring of support from people who say authorities are trampling on his First Amendment rights.

Brandon J. Raub, 26, has been in custody since FBI, Secret Service agents and police in Virginia’s Chesterfield County questioned him Thursday evening about what they said were ominous posts talking about a coming revolution. In one message earlier this month according to authorities, Raub wrote: “Sharpen my axe; I’m here to sever heads.”

Police — acting under a state law that allows emergency, temporary psychiatric commitments upon the recommendation of a mental health professional — took Raub to the John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell. He was not charged with any crime.

A Virginia-based civil liberties group, The Rutherford Institute, dispatched one of its attorneys to the hospital to represent Raub at a hearing Monday. A judge ordered Raub detained for another month, Rutherford executive director John Whitehead said.

“For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon,” Whitehead said.

Read more from this story HERE.

Facebook-posting Marine vet in psych ward: FBI admits questioning, denies arrest

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported today that Brandon Raub, the Marine veteran whose mother claims was arrested because of his patriotic Facebook postings, was not actually arrested but was instead placed in a psychiatric ward “in a local hospital after being picked up by federal and local law enforcement officials concerned about threatening Internet postings.”

In a telephone interview with the Times-Dispatch, Raub stated that, “I’m currently in John Randolph in the psychiatric ward being held against my will.”

Raub, a marine sergeant in the combat engineers with service time in both Afghanistan and Iraq, said that the FBI and local law enforcement were “concerned about me calling for the arrest of government officials.”

In the Times-Dispatch interview, Raub affirmed that during his 20 or 30 minute interview with the Secret Service, he was “very cooperative and answered everything honestly. I really love America, and I think that idea that you can be detained and sent somewhere without due process and a lawyer … is crazy.”

A spokeswoman for the Richmond FBI office affirmed that the FBI had received reports about Raub’s Facebook posts and suggest that that was the reason that the FBI interviewed Raub in the presence of the local police officers. The agency also denied arresting Raub. Beyond that, the FBI refused to comment.

Although the Secret Service was allegedly present during the arrest, the Washington, D.C. office stated that it had not arrested or charged Raub.

Since his discharge, Raub had been running a silver coin business out of his home.

See Mr. Raub being taken into custody HERE, his mother’s interview HERE, and the Facebook postings HERE.

Part VI: Arrested Marine Vet: Patriot or Nutcase Revolutionary?

Just two days before his rest, Mr. Raub states that men will be at his house to pick him up to “lead” the Revolution. He gives his address:

The day before his arrest Mr. Raub cryptically states that “they will say he said it to the NSA first.”

His final post appears to be the trailer from The Last Samurai.

Scattered throughout Mr. Raub’s Facebook postings are a number of conspiracy theory postings involving Truther theories, the Bohemian Grove, contrail poisoning, the Illuminati, etc. He also criticizes Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, suggesting that he knew his postings were being monitored.

There was a single overt reference to violence in the stand-alone “sharpening the axe to ‘sever heads'” comment.  No Facebook threats were made toward the President or the Vice President.

My review of Mr. Raub’s Facebook page suggests a narcissistic self-delusion that he was going to be the leader of some sort of nationwide civil war. Either that, or the whole thing was a bad joke gone too far.

Nevertheless, as a former United States Magistrate Judge who has heard dozens of Glass warrant applications, my assessment is that the federal government likely had secured wiretaps on Mr. Raub’s telephone communications.  It probably could have justified a warrant on the basis of what was posted on Facebook.  Given the character of Mr. Raub’s Facebook postings, his telephone communications may have been even wilder.

The unveiling of the federal government’s likely indictment next week should be interesting. We’ll be sure to report it here.