Court refuses to reinstate lawsuit by Va. veteran detained after threat to 'sever heads'

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RICHMOND, Virginia — A federal appeals court has refused to reinstate a lawsuit by a former Marine who was involuntarily held for psychiatric evaluation for posting threatening anti-government messages on Facebook.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday unanimously upheld a judge's ruling that the detention did not violate Brandon Raub's free-speech rights.

Raub claimed that a Chesterfield County mental health screener lacked probable cause to recommend his detention. Michael Campbell made the recommendation after FBI and county police questioned Raub about Facebook messages that alluded to violence and spoke of a pending revolution. One message said: "Sharpen my axe; I'm here to sever heads."

The appeals court said Campbell did not violate any clearly established legal standard in making his recommendation.

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