Free Speech

UC Irvine Vice Chancellor Sends an Official Message About the Rittenhouse Trial

Are universities supposed to have institutional views on the facts about self-defense in a case half a continent way?

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From Douglas M. Haynes, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and "Chief Diversity Officer" (as well as history professor, but speaking in his official capacity and not just as a faculty member):

The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse versus the State of Wisconsin concluded earlier today. The jury returned not guilty on all five counts of the original indictment (a sixth count was previously dismissed by the judge), including the murder of two people and the wounding of a third on August 25 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The relief of the Rittenhouse family in this verdict was met by the heavy burden of the families mourning the absence of loved ones and the continuing trauma of the lone survivor.

The conclusion of this trial does not end the reckoning about systemic racism in the United States. If anything, it has simply made it more legible. Kyle Rittenhouse did not live in Wisconsin, but in Antioch, Illinois. He traveled to Kenosha during protests against police violence in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake while in police custody. Blake was shot seven times in the back. The Kenosha event continued protests in response to the killings of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in St. Louis on March 13, 2020 in Louisville. These multi-racial protests were grounded in a call for racial justice and the end of police brutality. Rittenhouse imposed himself on the protests in Kenosha. His assistance was not requested. It was as much about resisting the calls of protestors as it was to defend property and render first aid.

For this reason, the verdict conveys a chilling message: Neither Black lives nor those of their allies' matter.

UCI will continue its whole university approach to recognizing and responding to anti-Blackness as an existential threat to our mission as a public research university. Learn more on the UCI Black Thriving Initiative website.

I would think that the verdict conveys a message that

  1. There's a right to self-defense, whether against the "allies" of blacks or against the enemies of blacks or against anyone else.
  2. That's particularly so if a person is pointing a gun at you, or reached for your rifle.
  3. The prosecution has to disprove claims of self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt.
  4. Twelve jurors unanimously concluded that the prosecution hadn't met its burden.

Perhaps Rittenhouse should have nonetheless been convicted. But it seems to me that universities should be places where such matters are honestly, freely, and thoughtfully debated, and I don't think that universities' taking an official stance on them is conducive to that. The Kalven Report puts it well:

A university has a great and unique role to play in fostering the development of social and political values in a society. The role is defined by the distinctive mission of the university and defined too by the distinctive characteristics of the university as a community. It is a role for the long term.

The mission of the university is the discovery, improvement, and dissemination of knowledge. Its domain of inquiry and scrutiny includes all aspects and all values of society. A university faithful to its mission will provide enduring challenges to social values, policies, practices, and institutions. By design and by effect, it is the institution which creates discontent with the existing social arrangements and proposes new ones. In brief, a good university, like Socrates, will be upsetting.

The instrument of dissent and criticism is the individual faculty member or the individual student. The university is the home and sponsor of critics; it is not itself the critic. It is, to go back once again to the classic phrase, a community of scholars. To perform its mission in the society, a university must sustain an extraordinary environment of freedom of inquiry and maintain an independence from political fashions, passions, and pressures. A university, if it is to be true to its faith in intellectual inquiry, must embrace, be hospitable to, and encourage the widest diversity of views within its own community. It is a community but only for the limited, albeit great, purposes of teaching and research. It is not a club, it is not a trade association, it is not a lobby.

Since the university is a community only for these limited and distinctive purposes, it is a community which cannot take collective action on the issues of the day without endangering the conditions for its existence and effectiveness. There is no mechanism by which it can reach a collective position without inhibiting that full freedom of dissent on which it thrives. It cannot insist that all of its members favor a given view of social policy; if it takes collective action, therefore, it does so at the price of censuring any minority who do not agree with the view adopted. In brief, it is a community which cannot resort to majority vote to reach positions on public issues.

The neutrality of the university as an institution arises then not from a lack of courage nor out of indifference and insensitivity. It arises out of respect for free inquiry and the obligation to cherish a diversity of viewpoints. And this neutrality as an institution has its complement in the fullest freedom for its faculty and students as individuals to participate in political action and social protest. It finds its complement, too, in the obligation of the university to provide a forum for the most searching and candid discussion of public issues.

Moreover, the sources of power of a great university should not be misconceived. Its prestige and influence are based on integrity and intellectual competence; they are not based on the circumstance that it may be wealthy, may have political contacts, and may have influential friends.

From time to time instances will arise in which the society, or segments of it, threaten the very mission of the university and its values of free inquiry. In such a crisis, it becomes the obligation of the university as an institution to oppose such measures and actively to defend its interests and its values. There is another context in which questions as to the appropriate role of the university may possibly arise, situations involving university ownership of property, its receipt of funds, its awarding of honors, its membership in other organizations. Here, of necessity, the university, however it acts, must act as an institution in its corporate capacity. In the exceptional instance, these corporate activities of the university may appear so incompatible with paramount social values as to require careful assessment of the consequences.

These extraordinary instances apart, there emerges, as we see it, a heavy presumption against the university taking collective action or expressing opinions on the political and social issues of the day, or modifying its corporate activities to foster social or political values, however compelling and appealing they may be….

Our basic conviction is that a great university can perform greatly for the betterment of society. It should not, therefore, permit itself to be diverted from its mission into playing the role of a second-rate political force or influence.

NEXT: Prof. Eric Segall (Georgia State) and I on Segall's Supreme Myths Podcast

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  1. I'm sure the chief diversity poobah has made a careful study of the evidence, and discovered that the jury incorrectly evaluated that evidence.

    I'm sure he didn't simply rely on media summaries and sound bites, in contrast to jurors who heard actual testimony and acquitted the defendant despite the dangers to themselves in doing so.

    1. Everyone has the right to a trial by a mob, which then dictates to the jury what verdict it should render based on class and race considerations, regardless of white-supremacist technicalities like "beyond a reasonable doubt."

    2. Why would he listen to "media summaries and sound bites"??

      He knew his position before the trial started.

    3. It is also very telling that the University left out the fact his father lives in Kenosha, Rittenhouse served as a lifeguard in that area, his travel time is immaterial as is crossing a state line. That is always paraded about to try to infer he went out of his way for other reasons.

      That is probably the most telling issue with the media and more. they cannot make him guilty with facts but they can insinuate and accuse by leaving out key details while offering partial details to make the actions appear in a different light.

      1. pressed enter too soon.

        Also worthy of note is how few if any of these people attacking Rittenhouse comment that the riots were not a valid means of protesting nor do they call for the arrest of those participating

  2. I wonder just how influenced the faculty and students at UCI are by the opinions of the Chief Diversity Officer. Maybe this is an opportunity for them to practice thinking for themselves.

    1. Being incredibly stupid is an aspect of diversity.

  3. "as well as history professor"

    Historian, eh? Let's check Amazon to see what he's written:

    Imperial Medicine: Patrick Manson and the Conquest of Tropical Disease

    Fit to Practice: Empire, Race, Gender, and the Making of British Medicine, 1850-1980 (Rochester Studies in Medical History Book 42)

    Now look up his articles:

    1. He clearly belongs to the school of "interpretative" history, rather than the school of straight history :

      Kyle Rittenhouse did not live in Wisconsin, but in Antioch, Illinois. He traveled to Kenosha during protests against police violence in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake while in police custody.

      This is true, but in an extremely lawyerly way. He lived across the state line.....20 miles away. And his job was in Kenosha. As were lots of family and friends. And he did travel to Kenosha during the said protest....to go to his job.

      I confess, even though I have a double copy of the gene that imparts extreme scepticism of media reporting, I fell for most of the media's framing as described here :

      https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/the-medias-verdict-on-kyle-rittenhouse

      Silly me.

      1. I live 20 miles from a state line, and now whenever I go across it I’m going to make a huge deal about it. Some Charlotte suburbs have next door neighbors living in different states…how do school districts work?

      2. He should be able to get the facts right about Jacob Blake, Blake was not in police custody, they were attempting to take him into custody, but he armed himself and was trying to get into a car and flee. There were 3 children in the car he was trying to get into while armed.

        While I certainly wish that Blake hadn't been shot and paralyzed, I don't fault the police for not trying to wrestle with a man armed with a knife who they already tased twice trying to subdue.

        I also think the police needed to do whatever they had to keep an armed rape suspect from driving off in a car with 3 children inside, including the use of deadly force.

      3. That was a great article. It neatly dissected (eviscerated) most of the MSM coverage.

        1. Remember that when reading any legacy media article about substack. Substack is a mortal threat to them.

  4. Freetown and London, 1847

    White Lies: The British Past in Post-War America

  5. "These multi-racial protests were grounded in a call for racial justice and the end of police brutality. Rittenhouse imposed himself on the protests in Kenosha."

    Huh? The facts are that Rittenhouse was protecting a business owned by people of color.

    He was forced to shoot three white rioters who were part of a mob that was burning down property, much of which was owned by people who weren't white.

    I haven't seen any evidence that the people he had to defend himself against were involved in any protests, just rioting.

    The folks trying to make this about racial justice have clearly had their brains addled by left-wing propaganda.

    1. He shot 3 criminal vagrants in self defense in chaos instigated by a suicidal ped0. This is all tribalism and Republicans were on the wrong side when the 17 year old Black teen Trayvon Martin defended himself when a nutty adult instigated an altercation with bizarre behavior.

      1. You don't get much right in your tribalism, do you?

        Trayvon Martin instigated the physical attack and was beating Zimmerman's head against the concrete when Zimmerman pulled his gun and shot him in self-defense.

        1. I have no idea who instigated the fight and neither do you.

          I suppose as long as you're engaging in baseless speculation, you may as well seem certain about it.

          1. Was that intended as a reply to Sebastian C, or the hierogyphics guy, or both ?

            1. Zimmerman lied to Hannity on national TV—he isn’t credible. All we know is Zimmerman instigated an altercation by behaving in a bizarre manner and so we don’t know which party threw the first punch. But in the GA redneKKK case we see Arbery initiate physical contact but the redneKKKs created the tense situation and tragedy ensued. Zimmerman was engaged in behavior very similar to McMichael but because we have video of what went down very few Republicans are vociferously defending them like they defended Zimmerman.

              1. We have audio of Zimmerman's phone call to police. On it, he said he acknowledged the police are on their way and that he was going back to his truck. He hung up and then he was attacked. Martin shouldn't have been a vigilante against people "behaving in a bizarre manner".

                1. That isn’t correct, Zimmerman stayed out of his truck just like McMichael in GA and right before the physical altercation Zimmerman admitted to exchanging words with Trayvon Martin.

                  1. Strange you insist on flogging a case from nine years ago. Stranger still, the old case does not support your position.
                    Both cases are cut and dried self defense cases, and the respective jury's delivered justice.

                    1. All you know is the jury found there was reasonable doubt that Zimmerman shot in self-defense, which under the circumstances was the proper verdict. But you have no idea if it was actually self-defense. For example, if, hypothetically, the confrontation began with Zimmerman threatening Martin with his drawn gun, was the shooting self-defense? Or was Martin beating the crap out of Zimmerman self-defense?

                      If that or any number of other plausible alternatives that might have exculpated Martin and inculpated Zimmerman occurred, the jury didn't know about it and we'll never hear about it.
                      Because. Martin. Is. Dead.

                      Stop pretending you know that the version of events that just happens to confirm your biases is what happened. You don't.

                    2. Leo, again you are repeating lies. "All you know is the jury found there was reasonable doubt that Zimmerman shot in self-defense,..." The Jury agreed that it was self-defense. They found no 'reasonable doubt' at all. Your conjecture and, wild hypotheticals do not change reality. Trayvons girlfriend testified that he said he was going after Zimmerman because he thought Zimmerman was gay. Trayvon was home and, turned back to ambush Zimmerman after disconnecting THAT last phone call.

                    3. Leo all you have is fantasies. Fantasies you are forced to entertain to take the sting out of the lies you tell yourself.

                      There was a trial. ALL evidence available was presented, vetted, and judged by a jury. Unless you have something new, you are in pure troll country.

                    4. My understanding is the only jury finding was "not-guilty." Even if it was "not guilty by reason of self-defense," that doesn't mean the jury found he acted in self-defense, only that the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he didn't act in self-defense. Now if the jury issued a finding of fact that Zimmerman did act in self-defense, that's another matter. If you believe that happened, please link to it, and I'll stand corrected.

                      FWIW, at least one juror interviewed after the trial said she was convinced Zimmerman was morally culpable, but there was insufficient evidence to support a guilty verdict under the law. That's consistent with the so-called "lie" you say I'm repeating, not your assertion that there was affirmative finding of self-defense.

                    5. iowatwo, you're the one who's fantasizing. You have no more idea what happened in the critical moments of that confrontation than I do. When I offer a hypothetical I say so, as I did above. You assert your imaginings as fact.

                      Enjoy your confirmation bias. You're not someone I'd waste energy trying to persuade otherwise.

                    6. Now if the jury issued a finding of fact that Zimmerman did act in self-defense, . 's another matter.
                      Evidence was presented exactly that Zimmerman did in fact act in self defense.
                      We know the defense had zero facts to suggest otherwise.
                      It's the bedrock of our legal system.
                      Zimmerman woke up that day an innocent man. No evidence was presented to change innocent. All your hypothehticals are meaningless.

                    7. In other words there was no such finding of fact. Just one side's evidence, and the inability of the victim to offer his own because he was dead. And of course your confirmation bias, which you're so steeped in you can't distinguish it from facts.

  6. That is a rather old-fashioned view of a university, certainly not one that most of Prof. Volokh's colleagues would endorse. You might as well say that the purpose of a university is to glorify God and train Christian ministers. It was once.

    1. "the purpose of a university is to glorify God and train Christian ministers."

      Instead it glorifies the false gods of "diversity" and "multiculturalism" while training acolytes in social justice....

      Maybe going back to the God and Christian ministers portion isn't a bad idea after all....

  7. A black communist using his state employment as a soapbox to prove his stupidity to all the world. What was the black man told to say by his masters about a kid who defended himself from at least one jewish pedophile. Was Diverse professor supposed to mention that there was no probable cause for criminal charges, that prosecutorial misconduct shreds the Constitution. Black man playing victim in a democrat control state spewing racial opinions for what purpose....destroy society even more ... sounds jewish.

    1. I saw he'd posted, so I unmuted him out of curiosity, suspecting that he'd said something anti-semitic, and so he did.

      Why the Russian-sounding handle? Are you a Russian troll, or do you simply adopt a Russian name because you associate Russia with anti-semitism?

  8. Well Vice Chancellor Haynes may be a historian (with a specialty in finding racism in 19th Century British medicine) but he's no lawyer.

    A jury--which sat through two weeks of testimony and more than two dozen witnesses found Rittenhouse not guilty of "murder". And yet Haynes feels free to say that Rittenhouse "murdered" to men.
    There's no question that two homicides took place--but they were not "murders".

    Haynes should stick to talking about things he knows something about.

    1. He should be sued for slander and defamation. The left has long had the notion that they are free to lie about people with impunity. They need to be taught the error of their ways.

        1. I agree. The left are incapable of learning behavior. I'm laughing at the very notion as well.

    2. And yet Haynes feels free to say that Rittenhouse "murdered" to men.

      Where ? All I saw about murder was a correct description of the charges of which Mr R was acquitted :

      The jury returned not guilty on all five counts of the original indictment (a sixth count was previously dismissed by the judge), including the murder of two people and the wounding of a third on August 25 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

      1. Mr. Diversity seems like he doesn't want to get pinned down.

        "Rittenhouse imposed himself on the protests in Kenosha. His assistance was not requested. It was as much about resisting the calls of protestors as it was to defend property and render first aid.

        "For this reason, the verdict conveys a chilling message: Neither Black lives nor those of their allies' matter."

        So what does this mean? If the jury's verdict was wrong, then necessarily Rittenhouse was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt on charges of murder.

        But then Mr. Diversity can point to the preceding passage, where he indicates that the jury's verdict is wrong because Rittenouse's subjective motive was to "resist[] the calls of the protesters." Perhaps Mr. Diversity thinks the true interpretation of Wisconsin law is that you can't go armed to a riot-plagued area if you have mixed motives - and he thinks there's evidence that R's motives include resisting protesters' calls.

        Perhaps Mr. Diversity could provide some support for his interpretation of Wisconsin law or of the facts of the case? Obviously he studied the full proceedings of the trial and, based on his investigation, found enough evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt (based on the true interpretation of Wisconsin law, of course)?

        1. Identifying BLM with the white rowdies who took advantage of a third night of burning chaos is, well, duh on the UC Irvine Vice Chancellor Douglas M. Haynes.

          We had some BLM protests locally that were nothing like what the video from Kenosha showed.

          BLM oughta sue Douglas M. Haynes for defamation.

  9. Dang--that's "two" men.

  10. The statue of Justice in the UCI Diversity office took off her blindfold and is looking at skin colors to decide which way to tip the scales. Diversity Justice swings her sword always for the benefit of "allies", eschewing facts or truth or fairness.

    1. "Social" justice is the opposite of justice.

  11. He even promotes a dishonest retelling of the Blake shooting.

    Blake was not in police custody. He was actively resisting while armed with a knife.

    He was shot in the back trying to get into a car where the police did not know whether he could get another weapon.

    1. "I had to shoot him in the back, just in case!"

      1. That's a similarly disingenuous way of describing the encounter.

        1. In what way? There is no dispute about the fact that Blake was shot in the back. How is he a deadly threat to the officer when he is facing away from the officer?

          The law as it is justifies this, but in my opinion, it should never, under any possible circumstances, be considered legitimate/justified for the police to shoot someone in the back.

          1. The law as it is justifies this, but in my opinion, it should never, under any possible circumstances, be considered legitimate/justified for the police to shoot someone in the back.

            "
            “We sleep soundly in our beds, because rough men stand ready in the night to do violence on those who would harm us"

            1. "
              "making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep" (Kipling, Tommy),

              He sees clearly that men can be highly civilized only while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them.

          2. In defense of the 3 children in the car. One of which, he had just kidnapped from the Mother after sexually assaulting the Mom? Just throwing out some truth here.

          3. it should never, under any possible circumstances, be considered legitimate/justified for the police to shoot someone in the back.

            As TempeJeff points out, you have entirely forgotten that "self defense" includes defense of other people. You can shoot someone, perfectly justifiably, in "self defense" even if they are no threat to you whatsoever, so long as they are a deadly and imminent threat to somebody else.

            1. To which I would respond that an officer firing from behind the suspect is not in any position to determine if such a threat exists.

              1. To which I would respond that perhaps you should think it through more deeply. An obvious illustration :

                You see a man with a knife chasing a woman down the street. You clearly see the knife in his hand. She is cornered against a door and she screams "No, no ! Don't hurt me !" The guy raises his right hand holding the knife and yells "You cheating bitch !" and brings the hand back ready to stab.

                But as he has his back to you, you're in no position to tell if he's a threat to the woman.

                Right ?

          4. There are actually many ways it's justified.

            Defense of the children in the back, before he can kidnap them.

            Because he thought Blake was about to swing the knife at him.

            Also, he was already armed. Already resisted arrest. Already assaulted an officer. Already pulled out Tazer barbs. Was he trying to get another weapon from inside the car? But his back was turned, hiding much of his hand movements.

            Before he could get in the car and start driving, turning the car into another weapon.

    2. I think we actually might be approach "peak crazy" with the Left. The media narrative is so tenuous these days and it no longer even has shades of the truth. The institutional left can keep that together for some time, especially with their new online censorship tools and "fact checking", but sooner or later the wheels are going to come off this bus.

      1. "I think we actually might be approach "peak crazy" with the Left"

        Said Jimmy the Dane, because of some chucklehead at some law school, all the while the republican party is in the grips of QAnon and a delusional conspiracy about the 2020 election. Get a grip you fucking moron.

        1. Who was behind the Russian collusion delusional conspiracy?

          1. "At this point in time, what difference does it make?"

  12. This is just outright intellectually dishonest and a lie by obvious omission. Let's break it down:

    >The conclusion of this trial does not end the reckoning about systemic racism in the United States.

    Hmmm....where is Sarcastro to condemn this guy calling for a "reckoning"....? Or is it "reckonings" and "justice" are only OK when it is in line with the agenda of the extreme left?

    >If anything, it has simply made it more legible. Kyle Rittenhouse did not live in Wisconsin, but in Antioch, Illinois.

    This is about as dishonest as you can get. Most of the rioters present were also not from Wisconsin. The ones with arrest records or have been identified online were bussed in from Chicago (and probably paid out of Soros cash). The guy who pointed a pistol at Rittenhouse and lived to tell the tale traveled almost three times the distance than Rittenhouse did. This is further intellectual dishonest by making it seem like hoping over the state line, which was just a few miles away makes it seem like he went really far out of his way to make it to Kenosha.

    >He traveled to Kenosha during protests against police violence in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake while in police custody. Blake was shot seven times in the back.

    This is a pretty sanitized version of what was actually happening in Kenosha. This wasn't a bunch of hippies in a peaceful drum circle, drinking a coke, and praying for world peace. It was after nights of riots, looting, and violence that cost the town millions of dollars in damage.

    >The Kenosha event continued protests in response to the killings of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in St. Louis on March 13, 2020 in Louisville. These multi-racial protests were grounded in a call for racial justice and the end of police brutality.

    Again, these were not peaceful marches but violent, bloody riots. But I do love the allusion to the fact that because this was a "call for racial justice" that everything that was going on was a-okay in the book of this chief diversity officer.

    >Rittenhouse imposed himself on the protests in Kenosha. His assistance was not requested.

    Did anyone call up and ask for professional rioters to travel to this small town? Just curious how it is supposed to work.

    >It was as much about resisting the calls of protestors as it was to defend property and render first aid.

    "These are not the droids you are looking for...." nice job diversity guy. Here is a logic chain for you. If there weren't violent rioters looting and burning that overwhelmed the local police presence, there would have been no need for people to protect property. And, if the left could have kept it under control instead of fomenting violence there would be two less bodies and a whole heck of a lot of less damage to property.

    Let's not forget that without violent riots, fires, and looting, none of the defenders would have been needed in town. If Antifa would not have bussed in professional rioters and encouraged criminals to make the trip to engage in mayhem nothing would have went down.

    Trying to peg this all on Rittenhouse for somehow is outright dastardly, but then what else would one expect here...?

    1. You think if one person is found who did call for general support against rioters and arsonists, diversity dude would change his mind?

      No, he'd just add another name to the opposite of allies list.

      Incidentally, if diversity staff aren't hostile, why do they need "allies" so desperately?

  13. >>"Kyle Rittenhouse did not live in Wisconsin, but in Antioch, Illinois. He traveled to Kenosha during protests against police violence "

    True, but the same is true of most of the other people present. For instance Grosskreutz travelled a considerably longer distance to the 'protest" than did Rittenhouse. Why is any of this supposed to be significant?

    >>"These multi-racial protests were grounded in a call for racial justice and the end of police brutality. "

    Rosenbaum, the child-rapist who attacked Rittenhouse and was killed for his efforts, was earlier in the night wandering around the 'protest' yelling "Shoot me, n***er'!!" Exactly how this counts as a "call for racial justice" escapes me. Other "protestors" were engaging in property crimes including arson.

    Most "BLM protests' were violent riots which attracted the sort of people who wanted to be able to engage in violence with police sanction. The victims of these riots were almost always poor black people who lived in the neighborhoods where the rioters were burning and looting.

    All of this information is easily available to anyone who cares to look. What's astonishing is that so many people, members of the "elite" class of lawyers, journalists, and pundits, are almost completely ignorant of the most basic facts of this case. And seem determined not to learn.

    1. "Grosskreutz travelled a considerably longer distance"

      That's ok because double standards.

      1. Can't remember who said it, but:
        "If the Left didn't have double standards, it wouldn't have any standards."

  14. >>" the verdict conveys a chilling message: Neither Black lives nor those of their allies' matter."

    If your "allies" are running around screaming the N-word while burning down black-owned businesses, then I'd say it's time to look for different allies. For guy's like that Rittenhouse fellow, in fact.

    1. > The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse versus the State of Wisconsin concluded . .

      Correct me if I'm mistaken, and pardon if this seems a quibble, but Wisconsin brought this case against Rittenhouse, not the other way around. It goes into the records as

      State of Wisconsin versus Rittenhouse.

      Perhaps a historian would be more attentive in his citations.

    2. "I'd say it's time to look for different allies. For guy's like that Rittenhouse fellow, in fact."

      Yup. Seems like the true ally of PoC in this situation is Rittenhouse, and these DEI types are the last ones to figure that out.

  15. "including the murder of two people"
    Just another academic who does not really believe in trial by jury and only cares to slander 12 people as racists.

    What we know is that Rittenhouse killed two people. What the jury decided was that the killing was not murder beyond a reasonable doubt. That does not make them racists, whether Haynes likes it or not.

    Full disclosure: I have not followed this case in any way shape or form. I have no opinion about the strength of either the defense or prosecution. I do have confidence that twelve citizens did their conscientious best to render a verdict in accordance with the guidance of the judge.

    1. No, "including the murder of two people" nests within a sentence that describes the charges.

      But since the phrasing has fooled more than one non-stupid person in this thread, we can conclude that it will have fooled plenty of others. Either very well crafted writing, or serendipity.

      1. Criticism accepted, Lee

      2. Given the chancellor describing the case as Rittenhouse v Wisconsin when Wisconsin brought charges against Rittenhouse not the other way around, maybe Chancellor Haynes doesn't understand what he's writing about.

  16. Odd...The vice Chancellor is determined to bring "Systemic Racism" into the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse.
    Would someone please point out to the Vice Chancellor that Kyle Rittenhouse did not shoot people of color.... Oh I get it the Vice Chancelor is upset Rittenhouse did not shoot any blacks and therefore Rittenhouse did not provide equal opportunity for politically correct accusations to come from Black People. These professors who support BLM and Antifa must find A-political commonsense court decisions equally racist...if not down right anti Marxist and anti-Fascist.

    1. When your only tool is a hammer....

  17. I see no winners in any of this.

    Two people paid for poor judgment with their lives.

    A third -- whose mistake was to refrain from killing Rittenhouse when he had the chance -- lost use of an arm.

    Rittenhouse is still an uneducated, unskilled, socially awkward young man from a bad home with dim prospects in can't-keep-up Wisconsin. To any degree those circumstances do not punish him, Rittenhouse's conscience someday may do so for the problems caused by his immaturity, poor judgment, and bad conduct. Rittenhouse was a loser before he fired those shots and he seems destined to continue to be a loser for so long as his shambling life expectancy allows.

    (Although maybe South Texas College Of Law or a similar diploma mill will grant him special admission, providing several opportunities to flunk a bar exam?)

    Conservatives and gun nuts seem to derive some short-term glee from this event, but the long-term consequences imposed on gun absolutists by the liberal-libertarian mainstream seem likely to be intensified and accelerated a bit by this episode.

    Just losers in every direction.

    1. Could you try any harder to depict yourself as a prejudiced bigot? I mean, you're doing a terrific job as it is, but I sense you've still got a bit more in you.

      >>A third -- whose mistake was to refrain from killing Rittenhouse when he had the chance .."

      And morally loathsome as well! Were you born this bad or did you spend your life working towards it?

      1. I sensed that reports indicate the third victim (who lost use of the arm) had a weapon aimed at Rittenhouse -- after Rittenhouse had begun shooting -- but decided he didn't want to kill Rittenhouse, at which point Rittenhouse shot the third victim. If that guy had shot Rittenhouse when he had the chance -- and, by the standards seemingly applied by the jury, would have been entitled to shoot to defend against the threat from Rittenhouse -- he would still have the use of that arm. He paid dearly for that hesitation. In a shoot-'em-up world, the lesson appears to be to shoot when you have the chance, especially to avoid being shot by a flustered, dopey minor with a rifle.

        My depiction of Rittenhouse was accurate. He was a loser, a dropout prancing around with delusions of adequacy (fancying himself a police officer, and a medic, then a nursing student, all without tether to the reality-based world, much as an eight-year-old might want to be or think himself a cowboy . . . and an astronaut . . . and a centerfielder . . . and a quarterback . . . and a superhero, etc.). He is a loser today -- still a dropout, still unskilled, still without apparent prospects or guidance in life, still without much show of judgment or character. Is there any evidence his trajectory is likely to change?

        If I missed the report indicating he has been admitted to a strong school, or has landed a solid job, or developed a marketable skill, or stopped exaggerating his profoundly modest "achievements," please point me toward it.

        1. I think he might have been a little distracted lately, from enrolling, seeking employment or developing his skills. I have seen him described as a trainee EMT, but I don't know anything more about that.

          Perhaps if the fake news media was more concerned with objective reporting we could know more, but as we don't, the less opinionated of us hold our criticisms.

          1. An attempts to use "distracted" to defend a high school dropout -- a downscale misfit with no legitimate prospects but with a gun he had someone else purchase -- against description as a loser is silly. Do you wish to try again?

        2. "If that guy had shot Rittenhouse when he had the chance -- and, by the standards seemingly applied by the jury, would have been entitled to shoot to defend against the threat from Rittenhouse..."

          Nope. He was running up at Rittenhouse pointing the gun at him, when Rittenhouse was on the ground. Grosskreutz was more of a Travis McMichael than a Rittenhouse. He wouldn't have had a self-defense claim.

          1. Hadn't Rittenhouse already shot two people? You figure someone who felled an active shooter in that situation would fare worse than Rittenhouse did in a trial? Especially in a White, downscale county (although one could not necessarily count on drawing such a defense-oriented judge)?

            1. Hadn't Rittenhouse already shot two people? You figure someone who felled an active shooter in that situation would fare worse than Rittenhouse did in a trial?"

              Both of the people he shot had charged him and attacked him. That's not an active shooter.

    2. So is it your God's honest take that the best ending to this entire this would have been if the third guy, illegally carrying a gun (that if anyone shouldn't have been there with a gun it was that guy), would have just outright murdered Rittenhouse? If so, wow, just wow....

      1. It sounds like that guy made a grave mistake when he hesitated after getting the drop on Rittenhouse. He would have been better off had he shot Rittenhouse. The lesson from this trial is that if you have a chance to shoot a person who is carrying a gun and has already shot other people, shoot him before he shoots you.

        1. Really? That is the lesson?! Not that you are entitled to defend yourself against crazies who are chasing you, trying to disarm you, trying to bash your head with a skateboard, etc.?!

          1. The lesson -- for everyone except disaffected, no-count gun nuts -- is that especially immature, downscale teenagers should not head toward trouble (that they misperceive as an opportunity to escape their shambling life and pretend to be the legitimate person they see in their fantasies) with a strawman-purchased rifle.

            I sense most of the gun nuts genuinely do not expect the modern American mainstream to outlaw gun nuttery. That lack of self-awareness positions gun absolutists for a defeat as severe and surprising as it will be predictable.

    3. Was the jury verdict correct or not, based on your analysis of the evidence?

    4. Was the jury verdict correct or not, based on your analysis of the evidence?

      1. Let me, sort of, answer.

        I didn't analyze the evidence, or read much about the trial other than the occasional headline. I don't know what I would have concluded had I been on the jury.

        I do believe that the jury, which knew vastly more about the evidence than I, or indeed any of the other commenters here, know, was conscientious and came to a careful conclusion, which I certainly accept.

        I am pleased to note that, whatever else happened, the sometimes expressed fear that they would be intimidated into convicting was not realized.

        1. Kenosha is a White (89 percent), can't-keep-up, Trump-hugging county. Perhaps the more substantial fear would be intimidation the other way.

          1. "Trump-hugging"? They voted 50.7% for Trump in 2020. Not exactly overwhelming. And you can only get to 89% white if you count Latino as white, since they're 13.5% all by themselves, according to the Census Bureau quickfacts.

            1. Interestingly, that 50.7% is more than the 46.85% that Trump got in Kenosha County in 2016, despite Trump doing worse in Wisconsin overall in 2020. Maybe a few percent of the voters in Kenosha decided they didn't like the riots? Just a guess.

              1. Trump won 200,000 more votes in Wisconsin in 2020 than in 2016. Biden "won" via widespread fraud. The Legislative Audit Bureau of the State of Wisconsin examined the election and found that state election officials broke the law. They list scores of thousands of "irregular" ballots. This was the result even though Madison, the place where the most fraud likely took place, simply refused to hand over their ballots and other records to the state for inspection.

    5. "Rittenhouse is still an uneducated, unskilled, socially awkward young man from a bad home with dim prospects in can't-keep-up Wisconsin."

      Reminds our resident self-hating goober of those days so long ago when he was an uneducated, unskilled, socially awkward young man from a bad home with dim prospects in can't-keep-up [some other state].

      1. Your argument is wrong, built on falsehood.

        I was never uneducated. I have revered education -- and thought little of the uneducated and ignorant -- since I was 10 years old.

        I was required to overcome difficult childhood circumstances with no help from family, which makes my academic, professional, political, family, financial, and other achievements much more satisfying (and, in the eyes of others, the record indicates, that much more impressive).

        Plenty of people had it tough, and many people are successful, but in this case I accomplished more by age 21 than Rittenhouse seems capable of achieving in a lifetime.

        Your impotent attempt at ankle-biting is pathetic. I blame your bitter clinging.

        1. All those accomplishments and you still can't manage to be a decent person. I guess that shows how important good parenting is.

          1. If I started spouting right-wing bigotry and superstitious nonsense, you would love me.

            I like our relationship as it is.

            1. You want to eliminate women's sports and make lesbians suck dick. If that's not right-wing bigotry, I don't know what is.

              1. I want to stomp conservatives' stale, ugly, bigoted political preferences into irrelevance in modern America.

                I can't take much credit for the liberal-libertarian mainstream's resounding victory in that regard, but I certainly enjoy it.

        2. By killing some of your precious SA, Rittenhouse has already accomplished something more worthwhile than you ever will in your lifetime.

          1. What is SA, and why is it precious, you bigoted Republican half-wit?

      2. I dunno what Artie's on about. Rittenhouse hit what he was aiming at. Seems pretty skilled to me.

        I always have to wonder if it hurt *every* time Kirkland's mother dropped him on his head as an infant, or if it stopped after the 30th or 40th time.

    6. Still working on your inferiority complex, I see. You should really try psychotropic drugs, they have good ones nowadays.

  18. I agree that there is ample reasonable doubt that the State negated self-defense. That having been said, Mr. Rittenhouse's conduct was foolhardy. He is the author of his own misfortune for going where he did not belong, armed with a deadly weapon. There is nothing praiseworthy or noble here.

    1. He "belonged" there as much as anybody else, and far more than many of the others, including Grosskreitz. You're almost entirely ignorant of every fact in this case. But then, I suppose you follow the 'news'.

      1. If you have a teenage son, would you recommend that he place himself in such a volatile situation? Yes or no?

        1. My experience is parents have little control over what situations their teenage son places himself.

          But why would it matter what some other party would 'recommend'? People get to live their own lives, ultimately. Making choices and living with the consequences is called responsibility, and a 17 year old should, broadly speaking, be old enough to do so in most cases.

          1. Making choices and living with the consequences is called responsibility, and a 17 year old should, broadly speaking, be old enough to do so in most cases.

            But obviously excluding fucking in California.

            1. Why haven't the huge Liberal Majorities in California changed that? Maybe, you could ask Gavin Newsom now his Bells Palsy from the booster vax shot is going away.

        2. I would not recommend to my daughter to walk alone at 2 am in a bad neighborhood with high crime rates.
          But if she did, and subsequently shot and killed or injured a would-be rapist, I would expect her to be able to claim self-defense, and not be prosecuted for murder.
          What you are doing is commonly called "blaming the victim", not at all different from "she shouldn't have been wearing that skimpy outfit if she didn't want to get raped"

        3. I was a teenager in a Navy helicopter getting shot at. We were NOT allowed any weapons for our defense because of our State Department. I really don't care why Rittenhouse was there. That is immaterial for the charges brought against him. This "Diversity Officer" just put him and his University on the possible lawsuit list.

        4. He did not place himself in that volatile situation. The people who placed Rittenhouse, and everybody else present, in that "volatile situation" were the lying hacks in the media who whipped the mobs into a frenzy, and the politicians who ordered the police to withdraw and permit the "volatile situation" - that is, violence, looting, arson, etc - to occur unimpeded.

          When the Sturmabteilung are rampaging in your neighborhood only a moral monster would suggest that you are the party at fault for failing to lock yourself in your cellar.

          1. Locking yourself in your cellar won't help. Sooner or later, they'll come for you. As Trotsky supposedly said: "You many not be interested in the Revolution, but the Revolution is interested in you!"

          2. Rittenhouse injected himself into a dangerous situation and ratcheted up the danger level to a double fatality.

            1. He took out some vermin.

              What is the problem with that?

    2. And where did he 'belong'? According to whom? People should be free to go where they please for whatever (lawful) reason they want.

      Nor is the mere fact of being armed a crime in WI. While going wherever desired, people should generally be able to do so armed, because you never know when you're going to be attacked. In fact, should you choose to go somewhere with potential danger, you should be more inclined to go armed. The idea that dangerous situations compel you to worry less about protecting yourself is nonsense start to finish.

      1. I don't dispute that Rittenhouse had a right to be there. He made a damned foolish choice to place himself in that situation with his straw purchased rifle, though. He gets no points for wisdom and discretion. His conduct is not worthy of emulation.

        1. He gets no points for wisdom and discretion.

          That seems a little unfair. The video circulating where he is chased for a considerable distance by one of the crazy guys shows him as amazingly reluctant to open fire. He only does so at point blank range when the guy is trying to grab his rifle.

          So whatever view you take of him being there and being armed, his actual behavior with his gun when confronted with an attacker seems admirably restrained.

          cf Lt Michael Byrd, a trained police officer, aged 53, 28 years service. Maybe he was justified in shooting Ashley Babbit, maybe not, but compared to Rittenhouse he fired at a much more imagined and less imminent danger.

          So even if you award Rittenhouse no points for being there with a gun, I think you have to give him some points for how he behaved with his gun when confronted. It's very hard to imagine a police officer being slower to use his gun that Rittenhouse.

          Also if you compare the photos of him holding his rifle, he is observing the correct procedure of pointng the gun at the ground. Unlike the prosecutor.

        2. I think you've got it right. It was a damned foolish choice, starting with deciding to go into an obviously violent situation alone, without backup, and armed. "Damned foolish" is being kind.

          The real story here is how did this situation get so out of hand? All three of the people who Rittenhouse tangled with had rap sheets! All were actively rioting. (Note, not "protesting". There's a difference.) Everyone was armed, one even with an illegal handgun. We're focusing attention on the wrong thing.

        3. "straw purchased rifle"?

          1. Speaking of which, it looks like Binger's gonna lose another case next week. The law Dominick Black is accused of violating is worded very similarly.

            1. Are they charging him under 948.60? If so, yeah, the relevant wording is *exactly* the same.

              This section applies only to a person under 18 years of age who possesses or is armed with a rifle or a shotgun if the person is in violation of s. 941.28 or is not in compliance with ss. 29.304 and 29.593.

              versus

              This section applies only to an adult who transfers a firearm to a person under 18 years of age if the person under 18 years of age is not in compliance with ss. 29.304 and 29.593 or to an adult who is in violation of s. 941.28.

              However, there is at least a *chance* that a different judge will interpret the law differently. If that happens, expect an appeal, where a Wisconsin appellate court and/or the Wisconsin Supreme Court will decide.

        4. What is exactly so admirable about people allowing their communities to be destroyed by left-wing mobs? What exactly is so "foolish" about people NOT allowing that to occur?

          When the media and the police and the politicians encourage and facilitate mob violence, ordinary people have the choice of either defending themselves or fleeing. It's far from obvious that fleeing is the wise choice or that defending themselves is the "foolish" one.

          You're in the position of arguing that the Jews of early 1930's Germany would have been "foolish" to try to stand up to the Nazis .

    3. Yes, he (like many 17 year olds) was foolish (as I, in retrospect, was when I was 17).

      And, yes, he is the author of his own misfortune -- EXCEPT for the "misfortune" of being arrested, charged, and going through a trial by attention seeking politicians (oops, sorry, DAs) for imagined crimes.

      Nor was he the author of the actions of malpracticing prosecutor who, fortunately, the judge dressed down.

      1. "Foolish" is a poor choice to describe being a high school dropout, hanging with racists and supporting Trump, carrying a rifle toward trouble while fantasizing childishly about being a police officer or medic, etc.

        "Loser" is a better choice, because Rittenhouse was, is, and seems destined to be a loser. He seems a misfit with downscale judgment, poor social skills, and sketchy character and intellect, scantly equipped for the modern world.

        A natural born right-wing hero, though.

        1. The only obvious "racist" present was Rosenbaum, the man who was running around screaming the N-word.

          If you really dislike racists so much you should be applauding Rittenhouse for shooting one. Instead here you are defending them.

          But then, that just makes you a natural-born left-wing useful idiot, of sketchy character and intellect.

    4. Nobody belonged there. Burning buildings and cars doesn't bring justice. *Everyone* should have stayed home, not just Rittenhouse.

      1. The arsonists were there because the corporate press had lied to them about police brutality, and because the Democratic politicians egged them on, and because the Democratic politicians in WI and Kenosha pulled the police out in order to facilitate the maximum amount of civil unrest.

        The people who ought to be on trial are the lying press and politicians who incited this riot and all the other riots on 2020, and ordered the police to allow the riots to occur.

      2. Burning buildings and cars doesn't bring justice.

        Of course not. But it's so much fun!

        compare (from one of Vladimir Vysotsky's songs):

        Why should I be considered a street tough and a criminal?
        Wouldn't it be better for me to become an antisemite?
        They may not have any laws on their side,
        But they have have the support and enthusiasm of millions!

    5. "That having been said, Mr. Rittenhouse's conduct was foolhardy."

      Seems like the root cause of this is the riots. When adults run around burning buildings down, the create a situation where teenagers might do foolhardy thinks to try to stop them.

      The responsibility for this is on the arsonists, not the teenagers.

      If we want to address the situation, address the riots, not the folks trying to stop them.

      1. The responsibility for Rittenhouse going there rests with Rittenhouse, no one else.

        The arsonists didn't force him to show up. He decided to be a hero. Stop excusing his foolishness.

        1. The responsibility for Huber, Rosenbaum and Grosskreitz being there rests with them alone. Nobody forced them to show up. They did show up, and then decided to continue being the violent felons which they had been all their lives.

          Stop making excuses for violent criminals.

        2. "Stop excusing his foolishness."

          Stop blaming the victim.

  19. The other plainly dishonest statement being made in the media is Rittenhouse shot only after a "plastic bag was apparently thrown (at him)" like it was a simple harmless empty plastic bag. Although we don't know for sure what was in it there were plenty of reports of "plastic bags" being thrown that contained concrete or even feces. And given what the rioters were engaged in I doubt it was the guy's lunch he decided to randomly chuck at Rittenhouse.

  20. This "traveled from another state" meme is getting very annoying.

    Rittenhouse lived ~20 miles from Kenosha.

    At least one of the people he killed that night lived about 40 miles away. Why were they there if someone shouldn't come from 20 miles away?

    Rittenhouse had ties to Kenosha. His father lives there and he has/did have a job there.

    Most of my career I've had a one way commute of over 20 miles.

    And, of course, he didn't carry the AR-15 across state lines either.

    1. I do about 35 miles one way. On the way I cross a bridge that is about 1,000 ft. long. On that bridge, I pass through three Counties. I drive across the State line to buy gas.

      1. In that case, according to every Diversity Officer in the land, you have forfeited your right to plead self defense if you were to injure a person physically attacking you.

        1. People who bristle at any mention of diversity tend to be hard-core Republican bigots.

          And huge fans of a White, male, right-wing blog such as the Volokh Conspiracy.

          1. I bristle at the idea of hiring someone or admitting someone to college not based on their resume / grades / test scores, but based on their skin color. If that makes me a "hard-core bigot" in your eyes, so be it.

  21. "By design and by effect, it is the institution which creates discontent with the existing social arrangements and proposes new ones. In brief, a good university, like Socrates, will be upsetting."

    Well, first off, Socrates didn't charge his students anything. Will a good university emulate this?

    I am interested in the claim that university is supposed to "create[] dissent" etc. Does this mean against *any* social arrangements? Is dissent to be encouraged without any vision of the good to back it up - simply dissent for its own sake?

    1. "The instrument of dissent and criticism is the individual faculty member or the individual student. The university is the home and sponsor of critics; it is not itself the critic."

      Ah, the university will not, in its corporate capacity, take a position on public issues (with narrow exceptions where the university is directly involved in a situation).

      It "merely" has professors and students who advocate replacing existing social arrangements with new ones.

      "A university, if it is to be true to its faith in intellectual inquiry, must embrace, be hospitable to, and encourage the widest diversity of views within its own community."

      Wait - would that include *supporters* of existing social arrangements? Would they balance out the *opponents* of existing social relations? If they balance out, then how can the university as a whole contribute to the needed criticism?

      Or are we presuming that the professors and students who support existing social relations will be a minority, cultivated simply to show the university's openness but not strong enough to outweigh the faculty/students who challenge existing social relations?

      1. I noticed that I'm phrasing my criticism in the form of questions - just like Socrates!

        And, like Socrates but unlike the University of Chicago, I'm not charging anything for my wisdom.

        1. In sum, the University of Chicago (this was in 1967) tried to butter its bread on both sides - maintaining institutional neutrality while outsourcing to its faculty and students the role of "creat[ing] discontent with the existing social arrangements and propos[ing] new ones." (while simultaneously being open to all viewpoints)

          Really, this is an unstable situation. The slightly-more-radical critic can say, "you've already abandoned institutional neutrality by 'sponsor[ing]' social critics, so take the next logical step and boldly voice the social criticism you're supposedly sponsoring."

          Now, I know that the University of Chicago has not merely sponsored advocates of left-liberal views, but is known for sponsoring advocates of free-market economics. Which probably isn't what the student protesters in 1967 (the year of the report) meant by social criticism.

          But as to cultural issues, here's an example of who the University of Chicago is sponsoring and what their views are. Hint: It's not "back the blue."

          https://news.uchicago.edu/black-lives-matter-protests-hope-future

      2. As soon as the Author of the letter identified himself as a University Officer, the University became the "instrument".

  22. Oh the suffering of Rosenbaum's family!!! Notice the media never mentions the suffering of his 5 victims of violent anal rape - ages 8 to 11. Or their families.

  23. Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty.

    My question (since this is a legal blog): Does Rittenhouse now have grounds to bring defamation lawsuits over numerous false statements from the MSM? Would he win at least one of the defamation lawsuits? (nb: a settlement counts as a win)

    Why or why not?

    1. If I had to guess, I'd say it depends on whether they said he's a symbol of institutional systemic racism blah blah, which the jury might find doesn't pin the speaker down specifically to any personal accusation, or whether the speaker was actually making specific personal allegations like "he's a racist" or "he killed people without provocation."

      My best guess, but I'd say let the jury decide, if there is to be a jury.

    2. That is a broad question and the answer will depend on the particular statements, when they were made, Kyle's status as a public figure, and maybe on the governing state law. One thing to keep in mind though is that a verdict of not guilty in a criminal case isn't a verdict of innocence and doesn't establish the falsehood of statements that mirror the charges, if it did then OJ's Heisman trophy wouldn't have been auctioned off to pay toward a wrongful death judgment against him.

    3. He would not be precluded from such a suit, since he was found not guilty.

      But that does not mean he would have a strong defamation suit. The elements are different, and apart from that, a criminal acquittal only means he not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If a juror in a criminal case believes a defendant is "probably guilty but might be innocent," he is duty bound to vote for an acquittal.In a civil case, the burdens are stacked differently, and "probably guilty" would mean he would lose.

      A defamation suit would have lots of hurdles. I am sure whatever lawyer he might hire, no doubt on contingency, will consider all the angles carefully.

  24. Look, why are people even giving these race-mongers the benefit of a response? There's no reasoning with them, they have nothing reasonable to say.

    They are TROLLS.

    Their intent is to inflame. Our reaction is what they're after. We owe them nothing, they aren't honestly trying to engage with us. So: let them have their say, but ignore them and move on.

  25. In a less politically charged environment, the discussion after the verdict would *not* be about the verdict. Given the Wisconsin law, the verdict seems like the only reasonable one the jury could've reached. The discussion instead would be able the Wisconsin law. Should the burden of proof be on the prosecution to refute a claim of self-defense, or should self-defense be an affirmative defense, in which the burden of proof lies on the defense? Should the law be as lenient as it is on the use of deadly force? Questions such as these are worth discussing.

    1. If you are trying to hurt someone, to what extent can you claim the protections of the law if the person you are attacking hurts you instead, is that what you would like to raise as a question?

      The answer to that is pretty clear, I think: The burden is on the attacker. They instigated the violence. Self-preservation of one's own life is pretty much at the very top of the scale of civil liberties.

      1. Are you talking about a general rule, rather than Rittenhouse specifically where you've already seen evidence?

        Because while you might be right on the burden of proof, your argument has a serious flaw when applied in general. You use phrases like the "burden is on the attacker", "they instigated", and "preservation of one's own life", you've assumed in advance the exact things that are supposed to be determined at trial.

        Suppose you're at a convenience store, and an armed robber comes in and kills both you and the clerk. The state is able to prove that he fired the shots. You and the clerk aren't around to tell your side of the story, so the robber says the two of you "attacked", "instigated", and that he was engaged in "self-preservation". Under the DaveM Self-Defense Rule, must the jury accept all the robbers' statements as true unless proved false beyond any reasonable doubt? Maybe but I think it's at least debatable.

      2. I worked several years as an armed guard. We had training every six months. The majority of that training was on the Law. Let me use a hypothetical situation here. I'm going to base it on the guy that survived.
        He comes at me with his weapon drawn and in a firing position. I raise my weapon and he lowers his. He then walks away. I can protect myself, but, I have no obligation to apprehend. If I then get up and chase him with my weapon drawn, and, he shoots and kills me. He has a solid case for self-defense. I became the attacker.

        1. That is essentially what we were told in handgun carry permit class. If you scare off an attacker by producing your weapon, you have successfully defended yourself, he is no longer a threat to your life or limb: Do not pursue. You do not want to switch roles and become the attacker. If you put him in fear of death or grievous bodily harm, he has the right to defend himself.

          So even if the people who pursued Rittenhouse after the first shooting believed he was in the wrong, under the instruction you and I received on lawful use of force, their pursuit was neither wise nor lawful.

    2. >>" Should the burden of proof be on the prosecution to refute a claim of self-defense"

      Obviously it should be, unless you want to discard that old-fashioned notion of "innocent until proven guilty". Which it seems is exactly what you'd like to do.

    3. I'm fine with the self-defense law the way it is. A better thing to change in Wisconsin law is that whole minor in possession of a dangerous weapon thing. Right now that law has nonsense in it. Make it legal or make it illegal or make it legal only while hunting, but we can't leave it as it is.

  26. My days of not taking seriously the views of anyone whose job title includes the words "diversity," "equity" or "inclusion" are quickly coming to a middle.

  27. Rittenhouse imposed himself on the protests in Kenosha. His assistance was not requested.

    Well it wasn't requested by the rioters, that's for sure, but why are they the only people whose requests count? And who requested their presence anyway? Did the neighborhood say, "Please come and destroy our stuff"?

  28. Eugene, you are a law professor. You realize that this verdict only speaks to the legal formulation of self defense in WI and other states with identical rules and burdens...

    1. Are you aware of significant differences in other states? Every state has minor differences, but as far as I know, self-defense is treated basically the same in every state.

      What makes you think the result would have been different in some other state or states?

  29. This thread strikes me as the Zimmerman case all over again. There are factual issues, and issues of intent, which are either ambiguous, or absolutely unknowable. But there are interpreters who ignore those difficulties, resolve every ambiguity in favor of their own arguments, and apparently think their conclusions amount to facts of the case. I cannot understand that style of argument, where it comes from, or what purpose anyone thinks it can serve. When that kind of argument becomes widespread and mutually self-supporting, the point of the debate is entirely lost.

    1. The factual issues are perfectly clear and as far as I can see are not even being debated by anyone who is familiar with the case. Admittedly that last provision excludes many on the left.

      The issues of "intent" can never be 100% clear-cut, but they are clearer in this case than they are in they are in most criminal cases. The claim that Rittenhouse was motivated by some "white supremacist intent" is patently false, a lie which can only be supported by first believing in a network of other lies.

      The only person present who engaged in rhetoric which could be reasonably be classified as "white supremacist" was Rosenbaum, who was running around screaming the N-word at everyone. Strangely enough, nobody who depends on the "news" for their information is even aware of this fact.

      1. Rittenhouse's bigoted conduct -- associating with the Proud Boys, using racist a hand signal, sitting at the front of a Trump rally with the other old-timey White supremacists and xenophobes -- indicates he is a bigot.

        Which is why Volokh Conspiracy fans love him. Bigotty bigoted bigots adore other bigotty bigoted bigots. They need to stick together, because most Americans despise them.

        1. There is noting "bigoted" about associating with the Proud Boys, who include Americans of all races and ethnicities in their ranks.

          There is nothing "bigoted" about being associated with the President of the United States, a Republican who drew a historically high number of votes from blacks and Hispanics and received numerous awards from such humanitarian groups as the Jewish National Fund and the Ellis Island Foundation.

          The only ignorant "bigot" here is the person trying to pretend that the racist pedophile Joseph Rosenbaum was a heroic defender of Truth, Justice, and the American Way. That would be you, you big bigoty bigot.

          1. I barely know or care who Joseph Rosenbaum is.

            From my perspective, watching Republicans and conservatives try to call Democrats bigots is not so bad, because (1) it doesn't work and (2) it indicates Republicans are not trying to improve, which means better Americans will continue to defeat the right-wingers handily in the American culture war.

            So carry on, clingers . . . so far and so long as your betters permit, and not a step beyond. You can continue to whine about it all you wish, but you will continue to toe that line.

            1. >>"I barely know or care who Joseph Rosenbaum is."

              That's because you're a bigot with a vested interest in covering up for your fellow bigots.

  30. Frankly, all of the political posturing I find pathetic. If you think that a criminal trial is where to play out your political inclinations, then you have a very warped, and very un-American, view of the law.

    Let us not lose sight of the real villains here: the authorities in Wisconsin who permitted rioting to run amok, apparently out of political cowardice. One of the purposes of an ordered society is to give an alternative to barbarism and chaos. When you hold back on that order, do not be surprised that something you don't like ensues. Had the Wisconsin authorities done their jobs, Kyle Rittenhouse would have stayed home.

  31. Haynes should be fired immediately. His is making allegations "systematic racism" with no factual basis. He runs what is bascially a marxist department which is anathema to free thought/speech. We need to challenge all these blanket statements..where is your proof? If America was racist why are so many "brown" people breaking our laws to get in? He very presence at a public university is a threat to free speech and free debate. The equity lies in academia must be exposed for what they are..marxist racism.

  32. Neither Black lives nor those of their allies’ matter.

    The vermin Kyle Rittenhouse slew were no more 'allies' of Black lives than the vermin who did the Tulsa riots in 1921 were allies of Black lives.

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