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The U.S. Constitution prohibits striking a juror from a panel on the basis of religion, the Connecticut Supreme Court has declared, prohibiting use of the peremptory challenge beyond just the race and gender categories currently recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a decision bound to spark new issues in civil and criminal jury trials, a divided panel in State v. Hodge builds on the U.S. Supreme Court landmark of Batson v. Kentucky, which outlawed race-based juror challenges in 1986. It was followed in 1994 with the case of J.E.B. v. Alabama ex rel T.B., a quasi-criminal paternity and support case, which extended the Batson doctrine to gender-based strikes.

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