J.E.B. v. Alabama ex rel T.B.

PETITIONER: J.E.B.
RESPONDENT: Alabama ex rel T.B.
LOCATION: Jackson Circuit Court

DOCKET NO.: 92-1239
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1993-1994)
LOWER COURT: State appellate court

CITATION: 511 US 127 (1994)
ARGUED: Nov 02, 1993
DECIDED: Apr 19, 1994

ADVOCATES:
John F. Porter, III - Argued the cause for the petitioner
Lois B. Brasfield - for respondent
Lois N. Brasfield - Argued the cause for the respondent
Michael R. Dreeben - As amicus curiae, supporting the petitioner

Facts of the case

Alabama, acting on behalf of T.B. (the mother), sought paternity and child support from J.E.B.(the putative father). A jury found for T.B. In forming the jury, Alabama used its peremptory strikes to eliminate nine of the ten men who were in the jury pool; J.E.B. use a peremptory challenge to strike a tenth man in the pool.

Question

Was the use of peremptory challenges to exclude jurors solely because of their gender a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Media for J.E.B. v. Alabama ex rel T.B.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 02, 1993 in J.E.B. v. Alabama ex rel T.B.

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - April 19, 1994 in J.E.B. v. Alabama ex rel T.B.

William H. Rehnquist:

The opinion of the Court in No. 92-1239, J.E.B. versus Alabama will be announced by Justice Blackmun.

Harry A. Blackmun:

this case comes to us from the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals and it concerns a trial of the petitioner for paternity and child support, and the state used nine of its ten peremptory challenges to remove male jurors.

It was claimed that the reasoning of a case called Batson against Kentucky in which this Court held that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits peremptory strikes based solely on the race extends to forbid gender-based peremptory challenges and that claim was rejected.

The jury found petitioner to be the father of the child and ordered him to pay a child support and the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals affirmed.

In an opinion filed with the Clerk today, we reverse that judgment.

We hold that the Equal Protection Clause prohibits discrimination in jury selection on the basis of gender or on the assumption that an individual will be biased in a particular case solely because that person happens to be a woman or a man.

Justice O'Connor although joining the Court's opinion has filed a separate concurring opinion; Justice Kennedy has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment; The Chief Justice has filed a dissenting opinion; Justice Scalia has also filed a dissenting opinion and has joined therein by the Chief Justice and by Justice Thomas.