The nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Seated from left: Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Standing, from left: Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito Jr. and Elena Kagan. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Stop! In the name of racial discrimination!

The “Supremes” seemed troubled.

They all but sang their skepticism.

“All the evidence suggests a kind of singling out,” said Justice Elena Kagan.

There was “a purpose to discriminate on the basis of race,” said Justice Stephen Breyer.

And Justice Samuel Alito, one of the court’s more conservative members, asked how one prospective juror could have been excluded based on being “close in age to the defendant” when at the time of the 1987 murder trial, the juror in question was 34 and the defendant was 19.

It all took place this week in Washington in the hallowed halls of the United States Supreme Court, where the nine justices took on the issue of racial discrimination in a Georgia case in which an all-white jury sentenced a young black man to death.

At least six of the justices reacted with skepticism — if not outright disbelief — to arguments that Floyd County prosecutors struck all four of the eligible black jurors for reasons other than race in the death-penalty case against Timothy Tyrone Foster.

What’s at stake, what are the potential outcomes, and when is a ruling expected? Find out on MyAJC.com.

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