Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Jury purification. Civil-liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate, a Phoenix contributor and my occasional collaborator, has written a piece for the Wall Street Journal on an extraordinary legal precedent in London: a judge has decided to exclude Jews and Hindus from the jury in the trial of a radical Muslim cleric who has been charged with inciting religious hatred against -- yes -- Jews and Hindus.

Silverglate, always with a keen eye for the excesses of identity politics, warns that this "could be another step in the trend, emphatic already in the American legal system, of equating a citizen's race or ethnicity with his probable point of view or, more radically still, his ability to judge his fellow citizen fairly on the evidence."

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