Hernandez v. New York

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Hernandez v. New York
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued February 25, 1991
Decided May 28, 1991
Full case name Hernandez v. New York
Citations 500 U.S. 352 (more)
Holding
A prosecutor's peremptory challenges of Spanish-speaking Latino jurors based on his doubts about the ability of such jurors to defer to the official translation of Spanish-language testimony did not violate the Equal Protection Clause.
Court membership
Case opinions
Plurality Kennedy, joined by Rehnquist, White, Souter
Concurrence O'Connor, joined by Scalia
Dissent Blackmun
Dissent Stevens, joined by Marshall

Hernandez v. New York, 500 U.S. 352 (1991), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which held that a prosecutor may dismiss jurors who are bilingual in Spanish and English from juries that will consider Spanish-language testimony.

Peremptory challenges are used to remove jurors thought to be undesirable for virtually any reason by either side in a court case. However, in Batson v. Kentucky (1986), the Supreme Court ruled that peremptory challenges may not be used to remove jurors because of their race. In Hernandez, the Supreme Court had to decide whether the peremptory exclusion of two Hispanic jurors was tantamount to exclusion because of race—and therefore violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.

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Further reading[edit]

  • Perea, Juan F. (2001). "The New American Spanish War: How the Courts and the Legislatures Are Aiding the Suppression of Languages Other Than English". In Dueñas Gonzalez, Roseann; Melis, Ildikó. Language Ideologies: Critical Perspectives on the Official English Movement. Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates. pp. 121–139. ISBN 0-8058-4054-0. 
  • Soltero, Carlos R. (2006). "Hernandez v. New York (1991) and the exclusion of bilingual jurors". Latinos and American Law: Landmark Supreme Court Cases. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. pp. 157–170. ISBN 0-292-71411-4. 
  • Montoya, M. (2000). Silence and Silencing: Their Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces in Legal Communication, Pedagogy and Discourse. Michigan Journal of Race & Law. Vol 5:847-911.