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Travis County Prosecutor Fired Over Racial Remarks, by Tom Crane, San Antonio Employment Law Blog


Poor choice of words, bad judgment, racially inappropriate or all three? -CCE

The ’Batson challenge’ allows a lawyer to challenge the strike of a potential jury member. The challenge is based on the decision in Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 70 (1986), which found it unconstitutional to strike a potential jury member on the basis of race. The Batson challenge does not require much. So long as the lawyer can articulate a non-discriminatory reason for the peremptory strike, then the strike will likely stand.  A prosecutor, Steve Brand, in Travis County struck a potential jury member because she was a member of the NAACP, because she wanted to be a member of the jury, and because she had a link on her Facebook page to Negro Motorist Green Book, a book for safe travel during the Jim Crow era. Mr. Brand said he wanted to avoid an having an ’activist’ on the jury and would have done the same in regard to a perceived white activist. . . .