Summary – J.E.B. v. Alabama, ex rel. T.B.
511 U.S. 127 (1994)
J.E.B. is the petitioner, the state of Alabama, (representing T.B. - an un-wed mother of a minor child), is the respondent. The petitioner’s claim is that, by striking men from his jury, Alabama violated his constitutional rights. According to the text, J.E.B. appealed to the U.S Supreme court since the Alabama State Supreme court denied, certiorari (which involves an order of a lower court to send the record of case to the Supreme Court). The case moves to the U.S. Supreme court where we read about Justice Blackmun and his thoughts on gender- based peremptory challenges and how they violate the Equal Protection Clause.( cite text- p 56) peremptory challenges- “ in most states, attorneys are allowed to reject a minimum number of potential jurors without giving a reason.” This is a concept that takes into consideration a lawyers, gut reaction to whether a juror says anything, yeah or nay, that would indicate some sort of bias. He speaks of the fact that women were excluded from jury service in many states, despite the fact that they attained suffrage, with the ratification, of the 19th amendment in 1920. He further explains that, “although the racial discriminations have not been identical to gender discriminations, they both share a history of exclusion.” And the community is harmed with both of these issues. He then cites the Batson vs. Kentucky (1986), where the Supreme Court decided that lawyers are not allowed to use peremptory challenges to strike jurors just because of their race. So now the issue becomes, can that be extended to include gender as well as race? Blackmun’s argument is that, with race, “the core guarantee of equal protection, ensuring citizens that their state will not discriminate…” His point is that, the aforementioned would be “meaningless, were we to approve the exclusion on gender”. He reversed the decision and remanded in favor of the defendant. (J.E.B.) Then we...
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