Sex Bias on Juries Limited Women's Groups Hail High Court's Ruling

By William H. Freivogel Of the Post-Dispatch | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), April 2, 1994 | Go to article overview

Sex Bias on Juries Limited Women's Groups Hail High Court's Ruling


William H. Freivogel Of the Post-Dispatch, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Removing jurors because of their sex is just as unconstitutional as removing them because of their race, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

The 6-3 decision is the latest in a string of rulings that have revolutionized the jury selection system by forcing lawyers to give nondiscriminatory reasons for removing people from juries.

The decision, handed down in Washington, will have an impact in Missouri, where lawyers have been permitted to remove jurors solely because of their sex. Prosecutors now may have to go back and justify some of their jury challenges in cases they already have won.

Women's rights groups hailed the decision as a "great victory for women's legal rights," although the ruling came in a case of alleged discrimination against a man.

In an Alabama paternity case, a government attorney removed nine out of 10 men from the jury pool. The resulting jury, all women, found that the man was the father of the child in question and owed child support.

The court said sex-discrimination in jury selection violates the equal-protection guarantee of the Constitution. "The discrimination serves to ratify and perpetuate invidious, archaic, and overbroad stereotypes about the relative abilities of men and women," Justice Harry A. Blackmun wrote for the court.

In a sarcastic dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said the opinion was "an inspiring demonstration of how thoroughly up-to-date and right-thinking we justices are in matters pertaining to the sexes . . . and how sternly we disapprove the male chauvinist attitudes of our predecessors." He accused the court of adopting a "unisex" approach to the Constitution.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas joined Scalia. Joining Blackmun were Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens and Anthony M. Kennedy.

O'Connor expressed reservations. She said she was not sure that the decision would always result in a fairer jury or a more just outcome for women.

O'Connor said she would not vote in future cases to extend Tuesday's decision to jury challenges by defense lawyers and lawyers in private civil cases. Tuesday's decision applies only to jury challenges by government attorneys.

O'Connor said that limiting the challenges of defense lawyers might keep a battered wife from using her jury challenges to get women on her jury.

Despite O'Connor's reservations, legal experts expect the court to extend the gender decision just as they did their earlier race decisions.

In the Alabama case, the state sued James Bowman, maintaining that he fathered Phillip Rhett Bowman Bible. The boy was born to Teresia Bible in 1989, and blood tests showed a 99.92 probability that he was Bowman's.

The jury pool had 23 women and 10 men. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sex Bias on Juries Limited Women's Groups Hail High Court's Ruling
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.