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Rittenhouse Judge Applauds Veterans In Courtroom And Liberals Have a Meltdown

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


The judge who is overseeing the Kyle Rittenhouse double homicide case caused a stir on the left again Thursday after he gave a shoutout to military members in observance of Veterans Day.

Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroeder paused at one point during the proceedings and asked if there were any veterans in the courtroom, but the only one who identified as such was the defense’s use-of-force expert, John Black, who said he had served in the U.S. Army, The Associated Press reported.

While there was no way for Schroeder to know ahead of time who in the courtroom was a vet, because the only one who IDed as such was a defense witness, that drew howls of protest from his critics.

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“What branch?” Schroeder asked Black.

“Army, sir,” Black said.

“I think we give a round of applause to the people who’ve served our country,” Schroeder said, leading the room including jurors in clapping.

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The AP noted:

Black then took the stand, testifying that less than three seconds elapsed between the time a protester fired a shot in the air and Rittenhouse opened fire with his rifle.

For some trial observers, Schroeder’s opening was a clear mistake that could have swayed jurors’ opinion of a defense witness at the expense of prosecutors’ already shaky case.

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But other watchers shrugged it off, suggesting prosecutors were best served letting the moment pass without objection.

However, some did criticize the moment, including Michael Stern, a lberal opinion columnist for USA Today, who tweeted: “As a former state & federal prosecutor, & defense attorney, I’m horrified at Schroeder’s untethered bias and unprofessionalism.”

He added: “Supporting veterans is a good thing. But a judge asking for a round of applause from a jury for a defense witness, under any circumstance, is a bad thing. It’s unethical, unprofessional, and it is subverting justice.”

Added AP Legal Affairs writer Michael Tarm: “#Rittenhouse jurors gave the first defense witness Thursday a round of applause. They did after Judge Schroeder asked if anyone in court had served in the military. When John Black said from the stand he had, the judge called for the applause in recognition of Veterans Day.”

The AP noted as well:

Schroeder, who wore a tie Thursday emblazoned with American flags and whose phone ringtone heard in court was the Lee Greenwood ode to patriotism “God Bless the U.S.A.,” has singled out veterans before. He called for a round of applause for veterans last week during jury selection, when he compared the solemnity of jury duty to the seriousness of being drafted. He also thanked the Marines during Wednesday’s court session, and when an officer in the courtroom said he was a Marine, Schroeder called for more applause.

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Others, however, saw nothing wrong with the judge’s shout-out and in fact were inspired by it.

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