Supreme Court rejects Charlottesville white supremacists’ conviction appeals

The high court said that it would not take the case of Michael Miselis or Benjamin Daley, who participated in the rally as members of the “Rise Above Movement,” or “RAM"

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The Supreme Court is leaving in place the convictions of two men who as members of a white supremacist group participated in a white nationalist rally in Virginia in 2017 that turned violent.

The high court said Monday that it would not take the case of Michael Miselis or Benjamin Daley, who participated in the rally as members of the “Rise Above Movement,” or “RAM.” Both pleaded guilty to federal rioting charges in connection with the Virginia rally.

As is typical, the high court didn’t comment in turning away their cases.

In this Aug. 12, 2017 file photo, white nationalist demonstrators clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va. Three alleged members of a white supremacist group accused of inciting violence at California political rallies were cleared of federal charges after a judge found their actions amounted to constitutionally protected free speech. The judge in Los Angeles on Monday, June 3, 2019 threw out charges of conspiracy to commit rioting and travel or use of commerce with intent to riot against the men. Prosecutors were disappointed with the ruling and reviewing grounds for appeal. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
In this Aug. 12, 2017 file photo, white nationalist demonstrators clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Miselis and Daley admitted they punched and kicked demonstrators who showed up to protest against white nationalists during the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. One person died after a car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting the rally. Shortly after, a Virginia State Police helicopter that officials said was assisting with the rally crashed, killing the pilot and a trooper.

Miselis and Daley had challenged their convictions by arguing that the Anti-Riot Act, a law they pleaded guilty to violating, is overbroad under the First Amendment’s free speech clause. A federal appeals court had ruled against them.

Daley was sentenced to 37 months in prison. Miselis was sentenced to 27 months.

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