Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gay juror bias?

A federal judge weighing whether another jurist should have recused himself from the Proposition 8 case because he was in a long-term same-sex relationship took the question under review Monday after three hours of arguments by lawyers.

U.S. District Chief Judge James Ware, who is deciding a request by backers of Proposition 8 to throw out last August's ruling against the California ballot measure, said he would try to issue a ruling in the next 24 hours.

"This is the first case where a same-sex relationship is the subject for disqualifying a judge, so it is important that we treat it seriously and get it right," Ware said.

This is dangerous, because we don't want to start disqualifying jurors from similar backgrounds as the parties - - no blacks on juries for black defendants?   no Jews on juries with Jewish plaintiffs?

And, it's stupid.  The whole idea of a "jury of your peers" implies that people will be judged by those of similar backgrounds.

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