BY Staff WritersFebruary 26, 2024
2 months ago
 | February 26, 2024
2 months ago

Ninth Circuit Court Blocks Ruling Exonerating Alleged White Supremacists

In a notable legal twist, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stepped in to challenge a lower court's decision concerning white supremacy charges.

The appeals court's action effectively reinstates the legal battle against two men previously cleared by a district judge amidst concerns of selective prosecution.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney made headlines by dismissing charges against two alleged white supremacists, Robert Rundo and Robert Boman. The charges, tied to violations of the Anti-Riot Act and participation in riotous behavior at political rallies in 2017, were dropped, sparking immediate controversy.

The crux of Judge Carney's ruling revolved around accusations of selective prosecution. He pointed to the government's alleged leniency towards far-left groups, especially Antifa, despite their involvement in comparable, if not more severe, acts of violence. This reasoning, Carney argued, compromised the constitutional mandate for equitable justice.

The Appeals Process Ignites Swiftly

In a rapid response, an emergency motion was filed to stay Judge Carney's decision to release Rundo and Boman. Remarkably, within 15 hours, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted this motion, signaling the gravity and urgency perceived in potentially allowing the men to walk free under Carney's rationale.

Following the dismissal, Boman found temporary freedom through bond release, while Rundo's situation became hazier. With past actions suggesting a flight risk, notably his escape from the U.S. in 2019 after a previous case dismissal, prosecutors were especially wary of Rundo's potential release.

Rundo and Boman are purported members of the Rise Above Movement (RAM), a group espousing white supremacist ideologies. This affiliation, alongside their alleged acts, underpins the charges against them, raising substantial public and legal interest.

Judge Carney's Provocative Statements

Judge Carney did not mince words in his critique of the government's approach to prosecuting acts of violence. By contrasting the treatment of RAM members with that of Antifa and similar far-left entities, he suggested a constitutional imbalance in safeguarding the free speech of differing political spectrums.

"I don’t believe it’s warranted that Mr. Rundo spends one minute more in custody, so I’m going to release him forthwith," declared Judge Carney, underscoring his confidence in the ruling. His stance on liberating Rundo was clear, as was his belief that the government's prosecutorial patterns were flawed.

Further elaborating on the selective prosecution theme, Carney articulated that prosecuting members of RAM for their actions while overlooking similar conduct by far-left groups due to the perceived offensiveness of RAM's speech was untenable. This position has since fueled intense debate and legal scrutiny.

A Legal Quagmire Emerges

The swift intervention by the Ninth Circuit paints a complicated judicial canvas. With the appeals court overturning Carney's ruling, the legal saga surrounding Rundo and Boman intensifies, weaving through intricate issues of free speech, equal protection under the law, and societal safety against violent extremism.

A U.S. Attorney spokesperson has remained guarded on the specifics of Rundo's custody status following the appeals court's decision. The office has assured the public that further developments will be communicated "as appropriate," leaving many to speculate about the immediate fallout from this legal duel.

The controversy over selective prosecution, highlighted by Judge Carney, opens a wider conversation on the balance between combating extremism and upholding constitutional rights. His stark observations regarding the perceived leniency towards far-left violence compared to far-right actions underscore a deeply polarized national discourse.

Reflecting on a Divisive Legal Battle

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reignited a contentious legal battle by blocking Judge Cormac J. Carney's decision to dismiss charges against alleged white supremacists Robert Rundo and Robert Boman.

The initial dismissal, pivoting on claims of selective prosecution and contrasting the government's handling of far-right versus far-left groups, has stirred a complex debate on justice, extremism, and free speech.

With the appeals court rapidly halting Carney's release order for Rundo and the unclear custody status of the defendants, this case further complicates the nuanced discussion around enforcing the law equitably amid rising political tensions.

Written by: Staff Writers



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