https://www.theepochtimes.com/supreme-court-upholds-conviction-of-2-charlottesville-rioters-members-of-alt-right-fight-club_3857740.html

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld the conviction of two members of a group billing itself as the “premier MMA (mixed martial arts) club of the Alt-Right” but that one extremist watchdog described as a “racist fight club” whose members engaged in violent acts at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The high court did not comment on denying the appeals of the two men, Michael Paul Miselis and Benjamin Drake Daley, according to a June 14 list of summary dispositions (pdf).

With the move, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court conviction of Miselis and Daley, who pleaded guilty to violating the Anti-Riot Act but later challenged their conviction by arguing that the federal riot law violated the First Amendment’s free speech clause.

Daley was sentenced to 37 months in prison while Miselis was sentenced to 27 months, to be followed by two years of supervised release with respect to both men, according to a court brief filed in opposition to the men’s appeal (pdf).

Attorneys for two men did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.

Miselis and Daley took part in the Charlottesville rally as members of the Rise Above Movement (RAM), which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as an “overtly racist, violent right-wing fight club that attends rallies around the country to do open combat with counter-protesters.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) describes RAM as a “white supremacist group” whose members believe they are fighting against a “modern world” corrupted by various “destructive cultural influences” while embracing a “conservative counter-culture” that includes traditional Christian values.

“They see themselves as patriotic crusaders who are fighting against ‘communist’ forces and advocating on behalf of a victimized white population,” ADL says of the group.

“They were essentially serial rioters,” said Thomas Cullen, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, in remarks to The Los Angeles Times in October 2018, after Miselis and Daley were arrested. “This wasn’t in our view the lawful exercise of 1st Amendment rights. These guys came to Charlottesville to commit violent acts.”

A Supreme Court brief filed in opposition to Miselis’ and Daley’s appeal stated that the pair, along with other members of RAM, attended three separate rallies in 2017 at which they engaged in “numerous assaults against counter-protesters.”

In a release announcing Miselis’ and Daley’s convictions in 2019, the Department of Justice noted their participation in the unrest in Charlottesville, saying that, “as they made their way through the group of protestors, the RAM members collectively pushed, punched, kicked, chocked, head-butted, and otherwise assaulted several individuals, resulting in a riot.”

“As part of their pleas, the defendants admitted these actions were not in self-defense,” the DOJ noted.

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