MLFA to argue important First Amendment case at Third Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, June 10, 2024

After representing Mr. Khaled Miah in his criminal jury trial in December of 2021, MLFA’s Criminal Defense Department submitted an appeal on behalf of Mr. Miah in United States vs. Miah to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on June 5, 2023. A year later, the Third Circuit granted oral arguments and set the date for Monday, June 10th, 2024. You can watch it here. 

Mr. Miah was previously sentenced by Judge Scott Hardy to six years in prison and three years of supervised release after he was found guilty of five counts of making interstate threatening communications and one count of destruction of records in a criminal jury trial in 2022.  

Mr. Miah is represented on appeal by attorneys Charles Swift and Sufia Khalid from MLFA’s Criminal Defense Department, along with Allie Hallmark of Hamilton Wingo, who joined the effort pro-bono. Previously, the Court limited oral argument to Issue I in the brief, which challenges whether the communications underlying Counts 1, 2, 3, and 5 of Mr. Miah’s indictment constitute “threat[s] to injure the person of another.” On Monday, June 10th, Ms. Hallmark, who is conducting the oral arguments, will respond to three questions on Issue I posed by the Court: 

  • Does the term “person” in “threat to injure the person of another” in Section 875(c) mean a natural person?
  • Is particularization required for a conviction under section 875(c) and does each challenged communication constitute a particularized threat?  
  • Does each challenged communication constitute a threat standing alone, without reference to the communications charged separately in Counts 1 through 5 of the indictment? 

While MLFA does not endorse or support Mr. Miah’s statements in the charged tweets, MLFA supports the right to free speech guaranteed under the First Amendment. This was a right not afforded to Mr. Miah when he was first convicted, and it is a right that Mr. Miah’s attorneys are fighting for on his behalf in the oral argument on Monday. In particular, Khaled Miah’s case represents the right to free speech in instances of political and unpopular statements. His statements are contextualized in the broader context of whether millions of Muslims across the United States are permitted to exercise their right to free speech, especially when it does not align with the interests of the United States government.  

USA v. Khaled Miah 
Time: Monday, 6/10/2024 at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST
Location: Philadelphia, PA (oral argument at the Third Circuit)