In Refusing to Consider Marine’s Ordeal, SCOTUS Weakens Deterrents to Hearsay Commitments


What do the authorities feel so threatened by that they would try to lock a Marine veteran away for expressing doubts on social media about government truthfulness? And if they can do that to him, who’s next? (“We Are Brandon Raub” Facebook page.)

Per its posted Proceedings and Orders, the Supreme Court declined to hear the Case of Brandon Raub last Monday.  That slams shut a door in the face of a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who was seeking justice for his unlawful detention for disapproved political speech. It also leaves other Americans in similar danger of being committed to institutions based on “experts” relying on what police tell them rather than on impartial evaluations and due process.

Raub had been sentenced to “up to 30 days in [a] psych ward for Facebook posts,” Business Insider reported in 2012   Raub’s “thought crimes” included challenging the government’s account of 9/11. He was taken away in handcuffs following a joint operation that included the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Chesterfield County Police Department, all of which distanced themselves from responsibility in news reports.

Raub was provided representation through The Rutherford Institute, which noted he “was arrested, detained indefinitely in a psych 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.”

“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,” Rutherford president John W. Whitehead explained. “This should be a wake-up call to Americans that the police state is here.”

In a follow-up prompted by SCOTUS ducking the case, reporter Bob Unruh of related that after Raub had been held against his will for a week, “Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett … ordered Raub’s immediate release, stating 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.’”

“At issue was the behavior of the mental-health screener, Michael Campbell, who allegedly failed to exercise reasonable professional judgment in wrongly concluding Raub was mentally ill and dangerous, violating Raub’s Fourth Amendment rights,” Unruh explained. “The appellate court noted Raub never threatened violence, and he was detained on orders from Campbell after only an interview by Campbell of officers who had talked with Raub.”

That would mean Raub was committed based on hearsay as repeated by the police detaining him, and the system went along with it. It’s not difficult to imagine a different outcome had Raub been less capable and articulate at defending his rights, and had legal representation from a liberty advocacy legal firm not been forthcoming. It also makes it fair to wonder who may now be in custody that we may never know about. It also invites the question of whether the real mental health issue lies with those who would turn the coercive power of the state against  anyone challenging the government’s version of events.

But Raub pressing for justice through a lawsuit was rebuffed, first by a lower court and then by the appeals court. Now, by turning its back on him, SCOTUS has turned its back on past, current and future victims of the “mental health” blanket dragnet, including on those who may be injured or killed in the process of being unjustly incarcerated. By refusing to hold officials accountable for breaches of professional duties and for violations of rights, personal incentives for standards that safeguard individual liberty are diminished.

“Raub said he does not own a gun,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported at the time of his incarceration. That supports what he told me via Facebook messaging.

“No, no one took any guns from me, and I’m not prohibited from owning one,” he replied.  Still, it’s not hard to imagine what would have happened to someone who did have guns, including the lifetime prohibitions that can result for those not “cleared” by the courts. And that should be an object lesson to all – including to politicians and “gun rights” groups making noises about mental health “compromises.”

Without protections – equivalent to those provided in a jury trial — the danger to rights will remain. Remember: Even Stalin’s USSR “adjudicated” its “mental health” victims. Specifically, will decisions rely on those who may have biases of their own? And something else those pushing mental health “reforms” never seem to want to talk about: How will rights be restored when there is no longer a compelling mental health reason to deny them?

There’s also an inconvenient truism the disarmament crowd would prefer to see ignored:

If you can’t be trusted with a gun, you can‘t be trusted without a custodian.

Raub won one battle, but the war still threatens to engulf us all.  That’s because the totalitarians want to control everything, guns, speech, and thoughts, and view any expression of defiance as something to be suppressed, then crushed, and then exterminated. You might want to keep that in mind before posting any “Molon Labe” comments.  Then again, you may just want to continue being an American and expressing yourself in a way that shows some of us will not go gentle into that good night.

Categories: 2nd_amendment, All

About Author

David Codrea

David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (, and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.