Does a US Senate resolution have any legal effect or is it just a group of people expressing an opinion?

The US senate today unanimously passed a resolution (not by vote but by consent) that threats against the FBI are a bad thing (see article linked below).

Ok, fine. Does this actually do anything as a legal matter or is it just a group of co-workers agreeing that a given thing was not good?

Simple Resolution – Legislation that relates to the operations of a single chamber or expresses the collective opinion of that chamber on public policy issues. A simple resolution originating in the House of Representatives is designated by the letters “H. Res.” followed by a number and simple resolutions introduced in the Senate as “S. Res.” followed by a number. For Example: H. Res. 10.

As implied in the first part of that “or” clause, a simple resolution can have a force in changing the internal operations of the chamber which passes it, but the example you give doesn’t contain any such content and is strictly a statement of opinion.

There are three types of resolutions that can come before Congress: simple resolutions, concurrent resolutions and joint resolutions. @gnoitall described simple resolutions, which are passed by a single chamber and express an opinion or prescribe the procedures of organization of that chamber (e.g. who sits on which committees). A concurrent resolution is largely the same but is passed by both chambers and relates to an opinion or operations of them both (e.g. convening in joint session to hear the state of the union address). Joint resolutions are fundamentally the same as bills – they require the President’s signature and enact major policy decisions. Constitutional amendments are passed by joint resolution.

The only legal effect a Resolution can have is that they are occasionally used in the Judicial system as an indication of the ‘intent’ of the Legislature. This is when there is a Court case and there is some confusion or disagreement on what the legislation means. Not very common.

I should clarify – constitutional amendments are the one type of joint resolution that does NOT require the President’s signature. Examples of joint resolutions that ARE subject to signature/veto are continuing resolutions to fund the government and the joint resolution that annexed Texas.

It’s theater. Full stop.