DOCKET NO.: 79-6624
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
CITATION: 451 US 182 (1981)
ARGUED: Jan 12, 1981
DECIDED: Apr 21, 1981
George W. Jones – on behalf of the Respondent
John J. Cleary – on behalf of the Petitioner
Media for Rosales-Lopez v. United States
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – April 21, 1981 in Rosales-Lopez v. United States
Warren E. Burger:
Mr. Justice White has two — the disposition of two cases to announce.
Byron R. White:
This seems to be the Ninth Circuit’s day, both the cases I have are here on certiorari from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
In Rosales-Lopez against United States, the petitioner is of Mexican descent.
He was tried and convicted by a jury of participating in an illegal plan to bring Mexican aliens into the country.
In the course of selecting the jury he requested the trial judge to make specific inquiry of the prospective jurors as to the possibility of racial or ethnic prejudice.
A request was refused and the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed holding that in the circumstances of the case no further inquiry was needed.
We granted certiorari because the Court of Appeals and the lower federal courts differ widely as to when and under what circumstances specific inquiry as to this kind of prejudice need be made.
We affirmed the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
I have filed an opinion to this effect in which Justices Stewart, Blackmun, and Powell, joined.
Mr. Justice Rehnquist reaches the same result by a different course, he has filed an opinion in which the Chief Justice joins.
Mr. Justice Stevens dissents and has filed an opinion in which Justices Brennan and Marshall joined.