Rittenhouse verdict fuels concerns of inequality in justice system: The Note

The trial and Republicans' reaction speak to the country's racial divide.

The TAKE with Averi Harper Kyle Rittenhouse's acquittal has reignited a conversation about inequity in the justice system, stoked worries of vigilantism and called attention to the glorification of the shooting by some Republican lawmakers.

It is not the verdict alone that has fueled outrage, but the verdict in tandem with concerns about the behavior of the judge and other circumstances surrounding the trial. It's a reminder to those who stood in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters that the needle hasn't moved on federal police reform and that a promise of the Biden administration to address reform remains unfulfilled.

On the right, there have also been attempts to lionize Rittenhouse portraying him the patron saint of the second amendment and self-defense because he shot Black Lives Matter protestors.

"Today is a great day for the Second Amendment and the right to self-defense," said Rep. Lauren Boebert. "Kyle Rittenhouse is not guilty on all counts! Glory to God!"

Far right members of Congress Reps. Matt Gaetz, Madison Cawthorne and a recently censured Paul Gosar all took to Twitter after the verdict to celebrate it, jockeying to have Rittenhouse come work in their congressional offices as an intern.

For many, the trial and the reaction from Republicans, serve indications of deep racial divisions that exist across the country despite 2020's so-called racial reckoning.

The RUNDOWN with Alisa Wiersema Democrats' milestone achievement of passing the Build Back Better package in the House on Friday was promptly overshadowed by an outpouring of reactions to the verdict in the Rittenhouse trial.

The development further stalled the party's ability to seize the moment to articulate the legislation to the public ahead of its upcoming deliberations in the Senate, where it is likely to face further challenges from across the aisle, including possible policy changes.

In the meantime, the Biden administration is waving off any skepticism regarding the bill's passage, despite it being unlikely that the bill will get any Republican support. In an interview with NBC on Sunday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the administration is "confident" about the bill's success in the upper chamber and indicated a belief that there wouldn't be many changes made to the existing language.

Whatever room is left for negotiation will once again raise the bargaining profiles of Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who have often gone head-to-head with their own party in pursuit of centrist positions. Progressives are already sounding the alarm about the party's political stakes going into 2022, if Democrats continue to legislate around the power of two lawmakers.

"I think, in general, the party doesn't quite fully grasp what is happening in deep-blue communities," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez told the New York Times in an interview.

The TIP with Meg Cunningham Texas Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson announced over the weekend that she would not seek a sixteenth term in 2022, adding to a wave of retirements from prominent House Democrats.

Johnson is the sixteenth retirement in the House Democratic conference so far and previously announced that she doesn't plan to run again. She was the first Black woman elected to state public office from Dallas and the first woman chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Republicans are seizing on the expected retirement, pinning Johnson's congressional exit on the uphill battle Democrats face in retaining their majority.

"Committee chairs rarely retire unless their party is about to lose the majority. Smart Democrats know their majority is doomed because their policies have led to rising costs, skyrocketing crime, and a massive surge at the border," NRCC spokesman Mike Berg said in a statement Saturday afternoon.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast.

Monday morning’s episode begins with the CDC greenlighting COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all and how you can protect yourself ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend. ABC News Medical Contributor Dr. John Brownstein tells us why you're still considered fully vaccinated without a booster. Then, reaction from all sides after Kyle Rittenhouse is found not guilty in a case where the defense was successfully able to make a self-defense argument, says ABC News Legal Analyst Channa Lloyd. And, ABC News' Julia Macfarlane reports on the mysterious disappearance and later questionable reappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. http://apple.co/2HPocUL


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