Taylor v. Louisiana 419 U.S. 522 (1975)

Author:Kenneth L. Karst
Pages:2663
 
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Page 2663

Under Louisiana law women were selected for jury service only when they explicitly volunteered for duty; men were selected irrespective of their desires. In Hoyt v. Florida (1961), the Supreme Court had employed a RATIONAL BASIS standard of review to uphold a similar law against DUE PROCESS and EQUAL PROTECTION attacks. In Taylor, however, the Court invalidated this jury selection system as a denial of the Sixth Amendment right of the accused to "a jury drawn from a fair cross section of the community." That the accused was male was irrelevant to this claim. The vote was 8?1; Justice WILLIAM H. REHNQUIST dissented, and Chief Justice WARREN E. BURGER concurred only in the result.

Writing for the other seven Justices, Justice BYRON R. WHITE declined to follow Hoyt; if the fair cross section requirement ever "permitted the almost total exclusion of women, this is not the case today." Women had entered the work force in large numbers, undermining their exemption "solely on their sex and the presumed role in...

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