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affirmative action, jury selection


This essay considers whether the two recent Supreme Court affirmative action cases, the Michigan law school and undergraduate cases, Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger, provide support for opening the process of jury selection and deliberation to more fully include people of color and other under-represented groups and their experiences. I shall argue that these recent affirmative action cases can provide some support for ensuring better representation of people of color in the jury selection process, challenging the pre-textual use of peremptories and opening opportunities to talk about race during trials. The Court's reasoning in Grutter that diversity is a value that a law school can appropriately promote when it considers the admissions qualifications of candidates could lead the Court similarly to sustain limited race-conscious efforts to assure a process of inclusion in jury selection and in steps leading up to and including deliberation. Grutter opens the possibility for persons concerned about improving the justice system to be able to persuade courts to develop more effective ways to inlcude our richly diverse citizenry in the jury system.


Civil Rights and Discrimination