Mr Rittenhouse has gone from facing life in prison to being a poster boy of the political right. He’s met with former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, done an interview with Tucker Carlson, and been offered a possible internship with Florida Republican representative Matt Gaetz. Now, he has a nomination for the legislative branch’s highest honour.
The gesture will be most likely a figurative one, as a Congressional Gold Medal must be signed off by two-thirds of the House and the Senate.
Mr Rittenhouse shot and killed two men, and injured another, in August 2020 during protests in Kenosha after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. A jury found Mr Rittenhouse to be acting in self-defence on a night of the protest.
“While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken,” President Joe Biden said in a White House statement following the verdict.
“I ran on a promise to bring Americans together, because I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us. I know that we’re not going to heal our country’s wounds overnight, but I remain steadfast in my commitment to do everything in my power to ensure that every American is treated equally, with fairness and dignity, under the law.”