Batson, peremptory challenge, discrimination, equal protection, right to trial


Since the U.S. Supreme Court began limiting the exercise of peremptory challenges to safeguard potential jurors from discrimination, it has faced a nearly impossible task. The Court has attempted to safeguard a juror’s equal protection rights without eradicating the peremptory challenge’s ability to preserve a criminal defendant’s right to an impartial jury. Under the current legal framework, it is not certain whether either constitutional right is adequately protected. This Note examines the history of the Supreme Court’s limitation on peremptory challenges. It then discusses the current federal circuit split over whether peremptory challenges should be further limited. Finally, this Note concludes that the existing framework’s application should be extended and restricted to more effectively protect the constitutional rights at issue.