Batson for Sexual Orientation?

May 23rd, 2012

The Supreme Court has held that jurors cannot be excluded based on race (Batson v. Kentucky) or gender (J.E.B. v. Alabama), but has never ruled on whether exclusion based on sexual orientation violates the Fourteenth Amendment.

Via ThinkProgress I see that a Representative has introduced theJuror Non-Discrimination Act, which would “bar discrimination against jurors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Would the statute (I don’t see the text) say that this practice is unconstitutional? If so, courts need not (but likely would) defer to this. Or would it just be a rule the courts have to obey?

Now would this apply only to federal courts (would it be a regulation on Article III)? Could congress have the power to control state courts?