Politics - News Analysis

Rittenhouse Judge Just Went on Crazy Rant About Black Jurors: ‘It Was a Black, the Black, the Only Black!’

This is infuriating.

Judge Bruce Schroeder, the man presiding over the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, is on the defense himself. Not literally, although it seems that way sometimes, but he is defending himself after all of his bizarre antics.

We’ve reported on the litany of odd behaviors from Schroeder, from his Trump ringtone to the way he demanded that everyone in the courtroom clap for a defense witness. But maybe we should have seen this one coming, after his demeaning “Asian food” joke.

Schroeder caused quite a stir with his decision to allow Kyle Rittenhouse himself to pull jurors’ names from a lottery tumbler. But today he went completely off-topic when he referenced it:

I am now reading about how bizarre and unusual it was to have the defendant pick the numbers out of the tumbler yesterday. I would admit that I don’t know there’s a large number of courts that do that. Maybe not any.

I do it because of an incident that I had in a case I tried in Racine. I think it was a m*rder case but I’m not sure. And there was a Black defendant and there were 13 jurors. One of them was Black. And when the clerk — the clerk, the government official drew the name out of the tumbler, it was a Black, the Black, the only Black.

Now, nobody asked you why, Bruce. But since you mention it, there did happen to only be one Black juror that made it through the screening process in this trial as well.

But why on earth would it be a bad thing to have cultural or racial representation among a jury of your peers? Or did you mean that if the one Black juror in this case made it through the lottery pick in a case against a man accused of race-based vi0lence, you didn’t want it to look bad for you?

Optics, said Schroeder:

We talk about optics nowadays. That was a bad optic, I thought. I think people feel better when they have control.

I’m just speaking for myself here, but I’m not that concerned with how Kyle feels about anything.


Andrew Simpson
meet the author

Andrew is a dark blue speck in deep red Southwestern Arizona, writing with the conviction of 17 years at the keyboard and too much politics to even stand. When not furiously stabbing the keys on breaking news stories, he writes poetry, prose, essays, haiku, lectures, stories for grief therapy, wedding ceremonies, detailed instructions on making doughnuts from canned biscuit dough (more sugar than cinnamon — duh), and equations to determine the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. A wife, three kids, and a grandson round out the story, and in his spare time, Andrew loves to think about how nice it would be to have spare time.


COMMENT POLICY: We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, hard-core profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment!