This past Monday, the Supreme Court decided to dismiss the appeals of both Michael Miselis and Benjamin Daley, two individuals who participated in the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Both men were heavily involved in the rally as members of the alt-right “Rise Above Movement”, also commonly referred to as ‘RAM’, and pleaded guilty to federal rioting charges as well as admitting to acting violently towards the demonstrators present: both men, according to court filings, attacked counter protestors with tiki torches as well as other violent acts such as kicking and choking.
Michael Miselis received a 37 month sentence while Benjamin Daley received a twenty-seven month sentence. Both were charged with conspiring to violate the Anti-Riot Law and for travelling in interstate commerce with the intent to riot under the law. These sentences were recently challenged under the argument that the Anti-Riot Act, in which the two were found guilty, is unconstitutional and too broad under the First Amendment’s free speech clause.
The Supreme Court refused to see their cases and upheld their conviction as well as the 4th Circuit court’s decision, which decided that while certain aspects of the law can be considered overbroad, that the men’s guilty pleas were rooted in permissible provisions in the act.