Berghuis v. Smith
What's at Stake
Whether the right to an impartial jury guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment includes the right to a jury drawn from a fair cross-section of the community as the Supreme Court has repeatedly held and, if so, how the fair cross-section requirement should be measured and enforced.
The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a jury drawn from a fair cross-section of the community. In an amicus brief jointly filed with several other organizations, the ACLU argues that the fair cross-section requirement is an essential guarantee of impartiality that promotes public confidence in the jury system. The brief also supports the Sixth Circuit’s view that the fair cross-section requirement is violated by a significant disparity between a group’s representation in the community and its representation in the jury pool.