Taylor v. Louisiana
Annotate this Case
419 U.S. 522 (1975)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522 (1975)
Taylor v. Louisiana
Argued October 16, 1974
Decided January 21, 1975
419 U.S. 522
Appellant, a male, was convicted of a crime by a petit jury selected from a venire on which there were no women and which was selected pursuant to a system resulting from Louisiana constitutional and statutory requirements that a woman should not be selected for jury service unless she had previously filed a written declaration of her desire to be subject to jury service. The State Supreme Court affirmed, having rejected appellant's challenge to the constitutionality of the state jury selection scheme.
1. Appellant had standing to make his constitutional claim, there being no rule that such a claim may be asserted only by defendants who are members of the group excluded from jury service. Peters v. Kiff, 407 U. S. 493. P. 419 U. S. 526.
2. The requirement that a petit jury be selected from a representative cross-section of the community, which is fundamental to the jury trial guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment, is violated by the systematic exclusion of women from jury panels, which in the judicial district here involved amounted to 53% of the citizens eligible for jury service. Pp. 419 U. S. 526-533.
3. No adequate justification was shown here for the challenged jury selection provisions and the right to a jury selected from a fair cross-section of the community cannot be overcome on merely rational grounds. Pp. 419 U. S. 533-535.
4. It can no longer be held that women as a class may be excluded from jury service or given automatic exemptions based solely on sex if the consequence is that criminal jury venires are almost all male, and contrary implications of prior cases, e.g., Hoyt v. Florida, 368 U. S. 57, cannot be followed. Pp. 419 U. S. 535-537.
282 So.2d 491, reversed and remanded.
WHITE, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which DOUGLAS, BRENNAN, STEWART, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, and POWELL, JJ., joined. BURGER, C.J., concurred in the result. REHNQUIST, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 419 U. S. 538.