A federal appellate court has suspended the seven-month federal prison sentence that was handed down back in October to Douglass Mackey, who posted a satirical meme instructing people to vote for Hilary Clinton via text messaging in 2016.
“The Second Circuit Court of Appeals just overruled the District Court in granting our motion for bond pending appeal,” Mackey announced in an X post Monday. “his ruling is huge because it means that the appeals court decided that my appeal presents ‘substantial’ and ‘debatable’ issues of law that, if resolved in my favor, will result in my conviction being vacated.”
Mackey posted the full motion order which reads “granting motion for release pending appeal, at docket entry 16 Mackey’s surrender date is stayed. The District Court is ordered to determine the appropriate terms of release, without prejudice to the government’s making a future request for detention, on behalf of Appellant Douglass Mackey.”
The order was signed by Judge Omar Williams of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. It gives Mackey until January 5, 2024 to file an initial brief . The government will have until February 5 to submit its reply, after which Mackey’s response is due on February 20.
BREAKING NEWS: Second Circuit Court of Appeals grants bond pending appeal in the Douglass Mackey meme case
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals just overruled the District Court in granting our motion for bond pending appeal. This ruling is huge because it means that the appeals…
— Douglass Mackey (@DougMackeyCase) December 4, 2023
Mackey’s case has alarmed civil liberties advocates due to the potential free speech ramifications of the case. In 2016, Mackey posted a meme which read, “Save Time Avoid The Line… Vote from home.”
Federal prosecutors accused Mackey of deliberately “misleading” voters by highlighting his conservative-leaning internet activities.
Mackey was arrested at 7 a.m. by armed FBI agents just one week after Joe Biden became president in January 2021. Action was not taken against Democrat-aligned activists who did the same exact thing during the 2016 election.