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High court rejects 2 Virginia white nationalist rally cases

June 14, 2021 GMT
In this June 8, 2021 photo, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
In this June 8, 2021 photo, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

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.

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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.