FEF’s supporters will recall that the Department of Justice has two ongoing prosecutions against members of the Rise Above Movement (“RAM”). One was commenced in Charlottesville, Virginia; the other, in San Francisco, California. Both have now reached the Circuit Court of Appeal level, one in the Fourth Circuit and the other in the Ninth Circuit. Both circuit courts have ruled unfavorably to the RAM defendants. The Fourth Circuit appeal – the Miselis case – is now in a position for possible review by the United States Supreme Court if it will accept review, which it has the discretion to decline.
The means of obtaining Supreme Court review is by a petition for writ of certiorari. On March 4, 2021, the RAM defense counsel filed such a petition. A week later FEF filed an amicus brief in support of the petition. The goal of the petition and FEF’s amicus is to convince the Supreme Court to take the case, reverse the rulings of the circuit courts, strike down the Anti-Riot Act as unconstitutional, and exonerate the RAM defendants.
As a statistical matter, the Supreme Court rarely grants such petitions – less than 2% in recent years. But FEF’s counsel expressed optimism that the Miselis petition, enhanced by FEF’s amicus, has much better prospects for Supreme Court review than most petitions.