The US Constitution does not grant anyone any rights whatsoever, whether they are a US citizen or not.
Instead, it protects rights that EVERYONE has from birth, regardless of where they were born, by prohibiting certain actions by the US government. If the government cannot lawfully do certain things, then it doesn't matter who they might do them to, since doing them at all is illegal.
There's even a federal law on the books (Title 18, Chapter 13, Section 242) that makes it a federal crime for anyone to violate a constitutionally-protected right under color of law. Section 242 has no territorial limit, it applies to anyone who is subject to US federal laws -- which is all US citizens, due to other US federal laws, even if those citizens are in foreign countries and the illegal act isn't illegal in those foreign countries!
It simply does not matter whether Assange is a US citizen, since you don't need to be a US citizen to have rights.
There are some people who feel profoundly uncomfortable when they don't have permission from authority to do any particular thing. They feel equally uncomfortable when they see other people doing things without permission from authority -- and they often seek to do something about the 'problem'.
The thing is, those aren't the values this country was founded upon. At the time our country was founded, anything not explicitly forbidden was completely legal. And there were laws about what could not be forbidden.
But that makes people who need permission extremely uncomfortable, so they've been working diligently to 'fix' the problem for the past 200-odd years. Because freedom really IS chaos to them.
One thing a lot of people seem to forget, is that anything you could sue a public official for in federal court under 42 USC 1983 and win is also a criminal act under 18 USC 241 & 242.
While judges have absolute immunity to civil lawsuits for their actions on the bench as judges, they are NOT immunized in any way to the consequences of violating criminal laws, particularly federal criminal laws.
His Dishonor Judge Galasso has issued an illegal order that violates constitutional rights under color of law. That right there is a Section 242 violation punishable by a year in federal prison or a $1,000 fine or both. If anyone actually attempts to enforce the illegal order, it violates Section 241, which is a conspiracy against rights under color of law, punishable by ten years in federal prison or a $10,000 fine or both -- a felony by any measure, and one that applies equally to everyone from the judge on down the chain of those attempting to enforce the order!
Re: I'd be careful saying that duly processed court orders are "shady" or "illegitimate".
Google IS immune to court orders arising from court cases they were not invited to participate in.
But that's not the issue at hand.
Suppose your legal name was Anonymous Coward and you posted something that someone, somewhere, considered to be libelous. But instead of suing you, they sued someone else with the same name as you, someone who they hired specifically because that person had the same name as you. And that person's job is to plead no contest and agree to every demand made of them the instant they are served with the lawsuit.
So now, having 'won' a judgment against someone with your name, they go around demanding that your content be deleted by every site you posted it on, even though they never actually sued you.
Even if you were named specifically in a court order or injunction resulting from their lawsuit, you would not be bound by them in any way, because you are not the person that they sued. Civil court decisions are only binding on parties to the case under US law.
Why sue the person who will fight you in court, when you can sue someone (who is already employed by you) with the same name, who will settle the instant they are served?
The person who actually wrote the content they object to might never become aware that their content has been delisted. And if they do inquire why their content is gone, they'll be treated to the mystifying experience of being told that it was taken down after the court case they lost, despite them never having been sued.
Tobacco is the biggest gateway of them all. After all, can you think of a more unnatural act than putting a foul-smelling, foul-tasting weed in your mouth and lighting it on fire in order to feel better?
Sure, people do the same thing with marijuana, bur the fact that tobacco is regulated but legal and socially acceptable in a lot of places makes it the true gateway here. Especially since you can EAT marijuana to get its effects, but eating tobacco will just make you really, really sick.
That all completely ignores the fact that the feds only have the authority to interdict smuggling of intoxicants into states that prohibit them -- the authority to actually prohibit a substance lies solely with the states (and aside from the brief years of Alcohol Prohibition, always has).
"(side note: I never understand why journalists don't link to source material if they have access to it)"
There's two reasons for that as I understand the issue. One makes some sense, the other is really shady.
The one that makes some sense is that if you never link to sources, then not linking to a confidential source won't stand out.
The shady one, on the other hand, is that by not linking to sources, the journalist prevents people from reading the facts without any spin -- thereby preserving the spin the journalist used in their article.
People have been convicted of first degree murder because, when they bought the gun ten years ago, they decided that if they believed their life was in danger they would shoot. And the prosecution argued that that was premeditation.
The bar for proof in a criminal case, especially a murder case, is MUCH higher than any civil case.
At what point does standing next to someone who shares your political beliefs cause you to waive your rights? A hundred people? Ten people? One?
Corporations are made of people and people have rights. If standing next to a person that shares your views does in fact cause you to lose your right to freedom of speech and expression, then everything from political parties to the ACLU would become illegal organizations.
Suppose you need 50 units of Resource A to run a particular web app. The computer you on has exactly 5050509673 of that resource. Fingerprint systems will take note of that specific number and use it to identify you -- but what if instead of reporting the exact number, your computer just said "I have more than 50 of A available."
People can tell their computer to report the exact number or make NO report (not even the "over 50" statement) or anything in between. It could even be variable in what it reports between sessions.
It would only break those web apps that insist on your computer telling them more than they actually need to know, which they shouldn't be asking in the first place.
It IS a much worse crime -- but the US government seems to have zero interest in making arrests, filing charges or convicting people for it.
US Federal law -- Title 18, Chapter 13, Sections 241 & 242 -- make it a crime for anyone acting under color of law to violate or deny any constitutional, civil or statutory right. Doing so varies in severity as crimes go, ranging from a minor crime worth a year in federal prison to one punishable by execution, depending on the circumstances of the violation.
Since possession of a firearm while committing a crime is the same, legally speaking, as using one when committing the crime, and US police are almost never unarmed, the minimum charge (unless the prosecutor is corrupt) under those laws would be a felony. If two or more police acted together to violate rights -- even as little as silently standing in the background backing up the violation -- the crime would be a felony. And if anyone died as a result of the rights violation (even if someone killed one of the cops in self defense), all the cops working together would be guilty of a capital crime punishable by execution.
But as I said, the government seems to have zero interest in actually enforcing that law.
That's why my advice to people isn't to simply remain silent and sue later. I am constantly telling people that if they find themselves in those situations or witnessing one, they should say a double handful of words to the police officer in recording range of his patrol car or body cam.
"Sir, I am placing you under citizen's arrest for Name-Of-Crime."
By law, an arrest happens when someone is informed (or would reasonably conclude) they are under arrest, not when the handcuffs go. By law (case law, anyway), any violence committed against the one making the arrest after being informed of the arrest is resisting arrest with violence.
Even if you do nothing but say those words to a cop when you reasonably believe in good faith that he is breaking the law, him leaving the scene becomes a crime -- escaping custody and/or fleeing from custody. If he attacks you for saying them, the proper charge is assault/battery of law enforcement. If he is in possession of a deadly weapon when he commits those crimes -- even if he never draws it -- the crimes are the enhanced/aggravated versions.
Having such a thing on his record will do his career no favors, even if he manages to dodge any criminal charges. And the worst that will happen to you legally for saying those words is you might have to give testimony in court -- something you might have to do anyway as a witness just for being nearby while an arrest or investigation is made.
He'd probably have tried, I agree. Perhaps he'd have succeeded, but it would have been successful second degree murder in most states, successful first degree murder in a few (a death resulting from deadly force used while unlawfully resisting arrest is charged that way in those states).
Using me as an example, there's a good chance the deputy would have at least had his own gun aimed at him to enforce the arrest, if not being shot with it while resisting arrest -- one of the martial arts-related things that fascinated me in my youth was the concept of a gun disarm, so I sought out a teacher who knew how to actually do it. I've never needed to do it and am probably rusty as hell at it now 20+ years later, but those drilled-in reflexes are a lot like riding a bicycle.
The thing to remember is that any rights violation you can sue a cop for and win under 42 USC 1983, is also a criminal law violation under 18 USC 242.
Since federal law considers the mere possession of a dangerous weapon while committing a crime to make that crime an armed crime (even if the victim never knows the criminal is armed), that makes any violation of 242 by an armed police officer a felony by default.
The doctrine of qualified immunity does not provide any shield whatsoever from criminal law consequences, it only protects against civil lawsuits.
When a police department declares that an officer's actions were in accordance with department policy, and a civil court later rules that 42 USC 1983 was violated, this exceeds the probable cause standard required to arrest the officer for the felony the rights violation represents.
Isn't it funny how cops can commit felonies -- which supposedly disqualify people from possessing firearms -- and continue to be cops, even though a firearms disqualification would also disqualify them from being a cop at all?