1950 April 18

No Political Test for Jury Duty


The ACLU argued on this day that there should be no political test for service on juries. In Pittsburgh, a judge barred Mrs. Alice Roth from grand jury service because she was a Communist. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the judge’s decision, but Mrs. Roth did not serve on the grand jury for other technical reasons. The ACLU denounced such discrimination in jury service as “unwise and dangerous.”

Learn more about discrimination in jury selection: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/discrimination-jury-selection.html

Read about the history of juries: Dennis Hale, The Jury in America: Triumph and Decline (2016)

And more about race discrimination in jury selection: http://www.eji.org/raceandpoverty/juryselection

Read: Jeffrey Abramson, We the Jury: The Jury System and the Ideal of Democracy (1994)

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