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Gov. Brown Vetoes Bill Allowing Non-Citizens on Juries

Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), who authored the bill, said he was disappointed in the governor’s action.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday vetoed legislation that would have allowed legal immigrants the right to serve on California juries. 

Brown — who recently signed laws allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses and practice law  —  said allowing non-citizens to serve on juries would be going too far.

“Jury service, like voting, is quintessentially a prerogative and responsibility of citizenship,” Brown said in a veto message, according to the Los Angeles Times. “This bill would permit lawful permanent residents who are not citizens to serve on a jury. I don’t think that’s right.”

California would have been the first state in the nation with such a law.

Local assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), who authored the legislation, AB 1401, said Monday that he was disappointed in the governor’s decision.

“Lawful permanent immigrants are part of the fabric of our communities, and they benefit from the protections of our laws, so it is fair and just that they be asked to share in the obligation to do jury duty, just as they serve in our courts, schools, police departments and armed forces,” Wieckowski said. “I don’t see anything wrong with imposing this civic obligation on immigrants who can spend the rest of their lives in the United States.”

What do you think of the governor’s decision? Should legal non-citizens be allowed to serve on juries?

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