Do U.S. courts have to select a jury that's racially representative? I am wondering if there's a legal obligation of that sort nationwide, or if it varies by state, or if no such consideration needs to be made when selecting a jury.
The government may not establish laws to keep members of a particular race out of the jury pool. Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303, (1879) (“The statute of West Virginia, which, in effect, singles out and denies to colored citizens the right and privilege of participating in the administration of the law, as jurors, because of their color, though qualified in all other respects, is, practically, a brand upon them, and a discrimination against them which is forbidden by the amendment.”).
And once they are part of the pool, jurors may not be eliminated simply because of their race. Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 80 (1986) (“The Equal Protection Clause forbids the prosecutor to challenge potential jurors solely on account of their race”).
But there is no requirement that the jury have any particular racial composition when it is finally seated. Akins v. Texas, 325 U.S. 398, 403 (1945) (“Purposeful discrimination is not sustained by a showing that on a single grand jury the number of members of one race is less than that race's proportion of the eligible individuals.”)