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Women's Jury Service: Right of Citizenship or Privilege of Difference?

Joanna L. Grossman
Stanford Law Review
Vol. 46, No. 5 (May, 1994), pp. 1115-1160
Published by: Stanford Law Review
DOI: 10.2307/1229064
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1229064
Page Count: 46
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Women's Jury Service: Right of Citizenship or Privilege of Difference?
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Abstract

The Supreme Court recently declared that peremptory challenges based on sex, like those based on race, violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In this note, Joanna Grossman argues that the Court has finally established the right of women to serve on juries. Women's rights advocates had fought for this right for more than a century, but courts refused to recognize that women were harmed by exclusion from juries and denied any connection between women's jury service and citizenship. Instead, courts focused on gender difference and only eliminated legal barriers to women's jury service when it was necessary to uphold the rights of defendants. By contrast, the Court recognized the citizenship-based right of blacks to serve over a hundred years earlier. With this decision, the Supreme Court corrected this longstanding disparity in the treatment of race and sex in jury selection.

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