As Justice Kagan put it during argument, the case has “the best smoking-gun evidence you’re ever going to see about race bias in the jury room.” When it makes its decision, the Supreme Court should ensure that our jury system, hailed at our nation’s founding as a sacred bulwark of liberty, is a protective barrier against such discrimination, not an agent of it.
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We should not limit the Supreme Court’s ability to perform its critical role in our democracy. We should instead make sure it is composed of Justices who will faithfully apply the law. That’s the Supreme Court’s job. And Republican Senators should let it do it.
When legal advocates speak about “access to justice,” they typically are referring to a set of formidable barriers that can halt cases at the outset, shutting the proverbial courthouse doors to particular groups of people. Less discussed, but no less critical, is the ability of individuals to appeal unfavorable rulings against them. When the Supreme Court Justices meet this Friday in their weekly private conference to decide which new cases to hear, they will be considering a case, Rosillo v. Holten, in which a plaintiff’s recourse to an appeal was unfairly denied.