J. E. B., PETITIONER v. ALABAMA EX REL. T. B.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
511 U.S. 127; 114 S. Ct. 1419;
128 L. Ed. 2d 89
; 1994 U.S. LEXIS 3121; 62 U.S.L.W. 4219; 64 Empl.
Prac. Dec. (CCH) P42,967; 94 Cal. Daily Op. Service 2680; 94 Daily Journal DAR 5174; 8 Fla. L. Weekly
Fed. S 42
November 2, 1993, Argued
April 19, 1994, Decided
[*128] [***96] [**1421] JUSTICE BLACKMUN delivered the opinion of the Court.
[***LEdHR1A] [1A] In
, 476 U.S. 79, 90 L. Ed. 2d 69, 106 S. Ct. 1712 (1986)
Court held that
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
governs the exercise of
peremptory challenges by a prosecutor [***97] in a criminal trial. The Court explained that although a
defendant has "no right to a 'petit jury composed in whole or in part of persons of his own race,'"
, at 85
, 100 U.S. 303, 305, 25 L. Ed. 664 (1880)
, the "defendant does have the
right to be tried by a jury whose members are selected pursuant to nondiscriminatory criteria,"
476 U.S. at
, we have reaffirmed repeatedly our commitment to jury selection procedures that are
fair and nondiscriminatory. We have recognized that whether the trial is criminal or civil, potential jurors,
as well as litigants, have an equal protection right to jury selection procedures that are free from state-
sponsored group stereotypes rooted in, and reflective of, historical prejudice. See
U.S. 400, 113 L. Ed. 2d 411, 111 S. Ct. 1364 (1991)
Leesville Concrete Co.
, 500 U.S. 614,
114 L. Ed. 2d 660, 111 S. Ct. 2077 (1991)
, 505 U.S. 42, 120 L. Ed. 2d 33, 112 S.
Ct. 2348 (1992)
Although premised on equal protection principles that apply equally to gender discrimination, all our
recent cases [*129] defining the scope of
involved alleged racial discrimination in the exercise of
peremptory challenges. Today we are faced with the question whether the
Equal Protection Clause
forbids intentional discrimination on the basis of gender, just as it prohibits discrimination on the basis of
race. We hold that gender, like race, is an unconstitutional proxy for juror competence and impartiality.