A New Spotlight in the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial

A New Spotlight in the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial

By Maddie Galesi, Staff Writer

The Kyle Rittenhouse trial has taken an unexpected turn as a new light has been shown on a different figure in the courtroom: Judge Bruce Schroeder. 

At 75 years old, Schroeder is the longest-serving circuit judge in Wisconsin. Schroeder was first appointed in 1983 by a Democratic governor and has continuously won elections since, often running unopposed.

Schroeder has the notoriety of being no-nonsense on the bench, but also approachable. Wisconsin lawyers mention that Schroeder tells a lot of stories and has a quirky personality that can not be missed.

Video clips of Schroeder have been circulating the internet, causing a shift in the focus from Rittenhouse to Schroeder. 

Kyle Rittenhouse was 17 at the time when he shot three people and killed two men in August 2020 at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. On Friday, he was deemed not guilty on all five charges.  

Schroeder gained criticism for a joke many found racist about a lunch delay in court. He said he hoped the Asian food “isn’t on one of those boats in Long Beach Harbor.” 

The judge also banned MSNBC from the courtroom on Thursday after claims that a journalist hired by NBC News was following the jury bus. The journalist says he was not following the bus, and an NBC News spokesperson stated that he never intended to contact the jurors.  

Another example of unprofessional behavior is when Judge Schroeder’s phone went off and a patriotic anthem played. Due to his ringtone, many suspected the judge was biased for supposedly having a “Trump rally anthem.”

Schroeder first gained attention when he ruled that the people Rittenhouse shot, including those who died, could not be referred to as “victims.” To many, this was absurd as there is no dispute that Rittenhouse shot and killed Huber and Rosenbaum and that he shot and injured Grosskreutz. 

Though some enjoyed Schroeder’s old-school methods and quirky mannerisms, others thought a higher level of maturity should have been displayed by the judge. 

Many Wayne Hills students have been keeping up with the trial and have their own opinions on Judge Schroeder. 

Junior Harman Kholi says that the trial was about a young man who shot three people and killed two of them. He feels the content was extremely serious and therefore the judge’s behavior should have reflected that. 

Junior Sahil Mehta looks at the situation differently and says, “the judge’s behavior seemed perfectly normal to me. A bit aggressive but the prosecution went out of line a couple of times.” 

Yara Shobut feels the behavior displayed by judge Schroeder was “absolutely unprofessional.” Shobut feels that the break called when Rittenhouse started sobbing showed how Schroeder was ‘not impartial but rather completely biased during the trial.

Many are unhappy about this shift in attention from Rittenhouse to Schroeder as they feel the case is not getting enough attention on what is truly important: the verdict of Rittenhouse and the lives lost.