The Discriminatory Use of Peremptory Challenges in Civil Litigation: Practice, Procedure and Review
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The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Batson v. Kentucky eliminated the use of peremptory challenges in criminal prosecutions to dismiss potential jurors on the basis of race. The author examines the principles that underpinned the decision—the equal protection of laws, the right to have a jury drawn from a “representative cross-section” of the community, and the supervisory powers doctrine—as well as the procedural issues that have arisen under it. The author concludes by explaining why the Batson decision should apply to civil litigants as well.