Georgia v. McCollum, 505 U.S. 42, 14 (1992)

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Cite as: 505 U. S. 42 (1992)

Opinion of the Court

tuted state action, even though the motive underlying the exercise of the peremptory challenge may be to protect a private interest. See id., at 626.10


Having held that a defendant's discriminatory exercise of a peremptory challenge is a violation of equal protection, we move to the question whether the State has standing to challenge a defendant's discriminatory use of peremptory challenges. In Powers, 499 U. S., at 416, this Court held that a white criminal defendant has standing to raise the equal protection rights of black jurors wrongfully excluded from jury service. While third-party standing is a limited exception, the Powers Court recognized that a litigant may raise a claim on behalf of a third party if the litigant can demonstrate that he has suffered a concrete injury, that he has a close relation to the third party, and that there exists some hindrance to the third party's ability to protect its own interests. Id., at 411. In Edmonson, the Court applied the same analysis in deciding that civil litigants had standing to raise the equal protection rights of jurors excluded on the basis of their race.

In applying the first prong of its standing analysis, the Powers Court found that a criminal defendant suffered cog-10 Numerous commentators similarly have concluded that a defendant's exercise of peremptory challenges constitutes state action. See generally Alschuler, The Supreme Court and the Jury: Voir Dire, Peremptory Challenges, and the Review of Jury Verdicts, 56 U. Chi. L. Rev. 153, 197-198 (1989); Note, State Action and the Peremptory Challenge: Evolution of the Court's Treatment and Implications for Georgia v. McCollum, 67 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1049, 1061-1074 (1992); Note, Discrimination by the Defense: Peremptory Challeges after Batson v. Kentucky, 88 Colum. L. Rev. 355, 358-361 (1988); Comment, The Prosecutor's Right to Object to a Defendant's Abuse of Peremptory Challenges, 93 Dick. L. Rev. 143, 158-162 (1988); Tanford, Racism in the Adversary System: The Defendant's Use of Peremptory Challenges, 63 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1015, 1027-1030 (1990); Under-wood, 92 Colum. L. Rev., at 750-753.


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