This documentary examines the landmark case in which the Supreme Court decided that the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause prevents the use of race-based peremptory challenges to reject potential jurors in civil cases. A PDF lesson plan accompanies this video.
If the constitutional guarantee of a fair trial is to be realized, the process used for selecting jurors must also be fair. Before Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Co., the constitutional principle of equal protection under the law had been applied to federal jury selection practices in criminal trials but not in civil trials. In this lesson, students learn about jury selection and how the role and responsibilities of government in civil and criminal jury trials are viewed by the Supreme Court.