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Abstract

The peremptory challenge virtually always has been a part of the American judicial system. It was "already venerable at the time of Blackstone, ... reflected in a federal statute enacted by the same Congress that proposed the Bill of Rights, [it] was recognized in an opinion by Justice Story to be part of common law of the United States, . . . and [it] has endured through two centuries in all the States ... ." However, in recent years, the peremptory challenge has been under attack as the Supreme Court has imposed restrictions on parties' ability to strike jurors on the basis of race and gender.

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