NEW: Court Deciding if Gay Juror can be Taken Off Case 9/18/13
SAN FRANCISCO - An appeals court is giving little indication whether lawyers can boot prospective jurors from a case solely based on sexual orientation.
During an hour of arguments in San Francisco on Wednesday, a panel of three 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal judges left unclear whether they would give gays the same status race and gender play in jury selection. Lawyers are allowed to remove prospective jurors without any legal reason, but are barred from removing potential jurors based on race and gender.
Now, the court must decide whether sexual orientation deserves the same protection.
The court is expected to rule at a later date.
The question of whether a juror was wrongfully removed arose out of an antitrust case between two pharmaceutical companies over an AIDS drug.