Until the 1970s, women in Louisiana were excluded from the jury pool, unless they were specially registered for jury duty. Taylor contested the fact that 53% of the people eligible for jury service in his jurisdiction were women, yet women constituted less than 10% of his jury.
The Supreme Court concluded that it was unconstitutional to implement a jury registration process that excluded women. Taylor v. Louisiana helped eliminate opt-in clauses in order for women to participate in juries.
After the ruling, many states actually put in place opt-out clauses for women to try and create male-heavy juries.. This was ruled unconstitutional four years later in Duren v. Missouri with Ruth Bader Ginsburg representing the petitioner.
the systematic exclusion of women
from jury panels was said to be acceptable.
But who would claim
that a jury was truly representative of the community if all men were intentionally
and systematically excluded from the panel?
The truth is that the two sexes are not given
equal protection of the laws
if women cannot
be representative of the community.
“We are also persuaded that the fair-cross-section requirement is violated by the systematic exclusion of women, who in the judicial district involved here amounted to 53% of the citizens eligible for jury service.”