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“They Did Their Best,” Kenosha Activist Judge Says As He Refuses To Correct KUSD Election Error

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Kenosha Judge Chad Kerkman (D)

Does the Kenosha Unified School District have to get things right when they administer elections for the local school board? Not so long as they “do their best,” says Kenosha Judge Chad Kerkman (D).

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Kenosha Unified School Board Board Member Eric Meadows
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

The activist Judge held a 20 minute hearing last Thursday, September 21, 2023 in regards to a suit filed by conservative school board member Eric Meadows. Meadows filed suit against the Kenosha Unified school district in April, shortly after the district, lead by Superintendent Jeff Weiss (D) and Board President Yolanda Santos (D), stripped Meadows of one year of his term due to a “clerical error.” At the end of the short hearing, Kerkman provided no explanation for his decisions and glossed over the highly intricate matters of law. He simply ruled, dismissing Meadows’ suit. It is entirely possible that Kerkman didn’t read the long legal briefs in this case, and that is why he didn’t give a legal explanation. This isn’t uncommon for the activist liberal judge.

For example, on March 22, 2023, during a Child in Need of Protection and Services (CHIPS), Kerkman sided with DCFS, which he usually does. However, the attorney for the mother suspected that Kerkman didn’t read all of the legal briefs, so he did what most attorneys would not – he asked the Judge:

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ATTORNEY: Your Honor … did you review
the request?
KERKMAN: I have made my decision.
ATTORNEY: So you didn’t review the request?
KERKMAN: I have made my decision.
ATTORNEY: Okay. I understand that you’ve
made your decision. I asked you a question. Are you
willing to answer it?
KERKMAN: And I’m not answering it. I said I have
made a decision.

ATTORNEY: Okay.
KERKMAN: You don’t get to ask that question.
ATTORNEY: Okay

At the end of this hearing, Kerkman, who isn’t used to being questioned, fined the attorney $100 (which he does often) and found the lawyer in contempt. The lawyer appealed. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled that while Judges can be disrespectful to lawyers, the opposite is not true, saying:

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“[The lawyer] was exhibiting both ‘[m]isconduct in the presence of the court … which impair[ed] the respect due the court’ and ‘resistance … of the authority’ “

Judge Chad Kerkman (D) and Prosecutor T. Clair Binger (D)
(Facebook)
Kerkman and Binger’s Bromance In Full Swing At the Opera
(Facebook)

Kerkman doesn’t hide his partisan political views. He is constantly posting pro-LGBT materials on Facebook, topless beach photos and Opera photos with T. Clair Binger, a good “friend.”

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Kerkman has been reversed several times by the court of appeals and federal courts. This is something that higher court rarely do.

Meadows will now find himself running for re-election (if he chooses) one year earlier than planned. Asked if he will appeal, Meadows says he won’t appeal because the likelihood of getting a ruling in time is low.

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Meadows released the following statement in response to Kerkman’s ruling:

The first amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right to seek redress of grievances. The framers understood that a person’s natural, God-given right was to seek justice when they have been wronged. This includes times when the government itself is in the wrong.

I was wronged by Kenosha Unified School District. The thousands of voters who voted for me were wronged by Kenosha Unified School District. I ran for and won a three-year term in the spring of 2022. Nine months into my term, a clerical error was discovered in the election notice. One of the three seats should have been for a one year term, not a three-year term. After consulting their attorneys, the KUSD administration determined that I was the one that would have to be vacated from my seat after only one year. Instead of bringing this situation up in a public meeting and voting on it, as is required by KUSD board policy, it was decided in closed-session without a vote. ‘No discussions of any matter shall be held and no action taken of any kind, formal or informal, by the School Board while in executive session except as specifically authorized by law. Ousting a fellow member of the board is not an item authorized by law.

Naturally, I sought my own legal counsel in this matter to find a resolution that didn’t simply try to sweep their mistake under the rug, and that didn’t ignore the will of the voters of Kenosha who voted for me for a three-year term.

KUSD is guilty and admitted to multiple mistakes, from errors on election notices, to unlawfully petitioning for a judge substitution when they didn’t like the judge assigned, to only holding an election for one seat this past spring. We have learned that attorneys hired by the district can make decisions and that the board, the actual governing body of the district, just follows along. What are the consequences for their mistakes in election law? What are their consequences for not following their own board policy? How does one hold a government entity accountable for their sloppy administration?

The answer we learned in my case is that there is nothing you can do. You can seek redress, but if you do, you’ll suffer all the consequences while the government entity doesn’t even get a slap on the wrist.

How is this justice?

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34 Responses

  1. KUSD and the majority of its Board is completely lawless. Kids can’t even read after they graduate. Take your children out now because they aren’t learning anything.

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  2. “They did their best” … to do what? Get the loud conservative off the board, that’s obvious. Respect other board members or the public? Nope. Follow their own rules for meetings? Rarely. Follow the law? Doesn’t look like it. Wait… isn’t the question in court whether they acted in good faith and according to any pertinent rules and laws?

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  3. Regarding the Bromance:

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck or….they are in another type of “brotherhood”.

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  4. I would hope that everyone would tone down the rhetoric and get to the facts.

    It seems the one thing that people agree on is that the school district screwed up with respect to the length of the term. If that’s true, then the next question should have been, “What is the remedy?” And, then, “What is the legal authority for that remedy?”

    In a perfect world, of course, there would be a perfect answer to that question. Sometimes there may not be one, such as it being a novel legal question without precedent.

    In that case, everyone is pretty much “making law” and it helps the appellate courts when the trial courts explain the rationale for a decision, including the authority relied upon in making it.

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    1. Unfortunately he didn’t give a valid judicial opinion, other than they did their best. So your otherwise well reasoned statement falls apart in your closing statement.
      I’m so tired of all of us word warriors talking crap but not doing a damn thing. Get involved! Get off the keyboard and host rallies, go to the public meetings, put forth a viable alternative candidate support your political party and most of all, VOTE!
      The loss we took on the Governor and the Supreme Court is getting ready to change Wisconsin and Kenosha County for perhaps a generation.

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      1. If correct, you identified the point well: the judge didn’t give the rationale for his decision. He should be able to back it up. This has zilch to do with politics but rather judicial competence.

  5. What would you expect from a street vendor from Twin Lakes? The Fentanyl capital of Kenosha County. He and his “partner” are could be regulars at the beach bar. I smell a stink finger in Twin lakes.

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  6. Joel Trudell seems to be obsessed with meadows. Every time I try to read one of his articles it’s all that clown. Surprised he hasn’t been charged with stalking or misinformation

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  7. They did their best? But is that the law? This judge has let the power of the position go to his head and not follow the law as written it is very apparent. So, when he runs for reelection, make sure there is another option on the ballot. Time for a competent Lawyer to step up and run against these incumbent judges who think they have this position as long as they want.

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    1. Completely agree with you, we need to put up a valid alternative to these liberal, society killing Judges.
      Sadly, the Bar is one giant members only club and an extremely rare member will step outside of the anoited circle.
      To be fair what can we expect? When you’re sent to liberal elementary and high schools, make it through liberal colleges and study law at liberal law schools, you can’t help to have a liberal taint. Believe me 95% of all phases of our education system have liberal Constitution bending agendas. To paraphrase Nikita Khruschev former Premier of the Soviet Union, we will take your country without ever firing a shot!

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      1. This judge is an equal opportunity sourpuss. He’s often bounced off of cases by attorneys because of his demeanor. His first election was sickening where he (aided by his then wife) did an unfair character attack on Fred Zievers. Many lawyers in Kenosha never forgave that.

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  8. What a rotten B.S. move on Kerkman’s part! I thought he had more brain cells than this to follow the corrupt KUSD board. The ONLY reason YOLANDA did this was to continue pushing her radical liberal board further to the left and completely strip parents of all rights. By this move alone, parents should pull their kids out of the public schools and homeschool or send them to a private school. Unbelievable. You see, the corruption does begin at the bottom.

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  9. Eric Meadows should appeal and should not.

    First. Regardless of when the appeal is decided, the precedent of this decision needs to be decided by a higher court. Otherwise they’ll do it again.

    Or Second. If he wins in court “after” winning his new 3 year seat a year sooner, then that seat comes into question.

    Tough decision. Either way Eric, you’ll have support of the people.

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      1. If the judge didn’t explain himself the appeal could become easier. Appellate courts may not always agree with a trial judge but if the trial judge considered the law, applied it to the facts and gave a well-reasoned explanation for the decision it gets a lot of deference on appeal. Otherwise, the appellate court will take an independent stab at the record.

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  10. Chad kerkman sided with somers in a case that there should have been charges brought against the somers village board but he ignored a 60 plus page letter written to him by me. Kerkman is a loser!

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  11. Did Attorney David Patton ever pay his $100 fine?
    At least he showed up at that hearing; usually people hire him and then he just sends attorneys he sub-contracted with who are just out of law school to handle the cases.

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  12. Unfortunately he didn’t give a valid judicial opinion, other than they did their best. So your otherwise well reasoned statement falls apart in your closing statement.
    I’m so tired of all of us word warriors talking crap but not doing a damn thing. Get involved! Get off the keyboard and host rallies, go to the public meetings, put forth a viable alternative candidate support your political party and most of all, VOTE!
    The loss we took on the Governor and the Supreme Court is getting ready to change Wisconsin and Kenosha County for perhaps a generation.

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  13. Contact HSLDA ( Homeschool Legal Defense Association) and find out the right steps to legally and officially pull your kids out of the Public School System! Wisconsin is pretty homeschool friendly, but the school officials try to intimidate parents, especially single parents, saying they will call authorities on them if they pull them out. HSLDA has a lot of information and attorneys that help you for free to fight the system. They are amazing! Membership is just a little over 100.00, but the free legal advice and free attorneys is beyond worth it if you need one! They also have scholarships to help pay for people’s memberships if needed. There are Homeschool groups all around Kenosha and Racine County as well. Make your own schedule, teach your children what YOU believe is important and get rid of all the garbage!

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    1. Good luck with that. You’ll be waiting until you die just like all the other people over the last few thousand years, claiming some sky daddy was coming to save them. Magic isn’t going to save America. People getting off their ass and matching the activism of the Left is what will save us.

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  14. You mention:”We have learned that attorneys hired by the district can make decisions and that the board, the actual governing body of the district, just follows along”. Which attorney are you referring to here?

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  15. It’s called a Motion for a John Doe hearing. Anyone can file it to the State AG and the Eastern (or Western) district courts in Wisconsin. That forces the State AG to investigate and explain to a judge why something is or is not against the law.

    They’re also free to file.

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