Cheryl Miller reports in The Recorder:  “As a legislative debate enveloped a bill aimed at stopping discrimination in jury selection, Associate Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court fielded questions from wavering lawmakers about the legislation’s content and existing law on peremptory challenges.”

The bill — AB 3070 — has passed and is headed to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk.

The article also says, “Based on the justice’s response, [the California District Attorneys Association’s legislative director] said, prosecutors may ask Liu to recuse himself from future cases before the Supreme Court that challenge a juror’s removal from a case.”  But it additionally reports, “Liu’s involvement with the legislation, though unusual for a court that generally eschews  contact with political matters, does not appear to violate any judicial canons, said retired state appellate Justice Tom Hollenhorst, a former chair of the Center for Judicial Education and Research governing committee.”

As mentioned before, a legislative report on the bill quotes at length a 2013 Liu separate opinion, including this observation that is certainly not out of date:  “Today, as when Batson was decided, it is a troubling reality, rooted in history and social context, that our black citizens are generally more skeptical about the fairness of our criminal justice system than other citizens.”


Former Justice Werdegar named to work group studying discriminatory jury selection practices

A possible reason the Chief Justice shouldn’t recuse herself from hearing the bail cases

Further disagreement on Batson/Wheeler issues as the court affirms two death sentences

Supreme Court reverses death penalty, affirms convictions, and is split in rejecting a Batson challenge

Batson/Wheeler again divides the Supreme Court as it affirms a death sentence; two offer-of-proof opinions overruled

In death penalty affirmance, alleged racial discrimination in jury selection again divides Supreme Court

Supreme Court reverses Court of Appeals to affirm Supreme Court, kinda