https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/4218489-robert-menendez-broke-the-goldilocks-rule-of-corruption/ says

The curious thing about Senate trials is that you have a jury composed of people you could strike for cause in a real court.

What does "for cause" mean?

2 Answers 2


As per Wikipedia:- Strike for cause (also referred to as challenge for cause or removal for cause) is a method of eliminating potential members from a jury panel in the United States.

You can get more information from:-



Long Context

This is a specific legal term in the United States court system. Most trials in American courts have a jury present (if you aren't familiar with the US jury system, here's an intro article). Neither side of the trial wants the jury to be unfair toward them, so each attorney is allowed to interview the potential members (called jurors) before the trial starts. Each side is allowed a certain number of "strikes" or dismissals, which would remove a potential juror from the case because that side feels that person may be biased.

As an example, let's say that the Defendant had been accused of breaking into a jewelry store and stealing something. The Defendant's attorney (who is trying to prove that the accused person did not do this) might strike a potential juror who owns a different business that was previously broken into, thinking that that they would be more likely to say that the defendant was guilty, even if not all the evidence was there. The plaintiff's attorney is trying to prove that the accused person did do this. They might strike a potential juror who has a family member who was convicted of theft, since they might feel that this person would be more likely to say that the defendant was not guilty.

For Cause

In order to strike a potential juror, there has to be "cause." Basically, the attorney can't just prevent someone from serving because they don't like the color of their hat or some other inconsequential detail that doesn't have relevance to the case.

Doing this action is referred to as striking for cause.

What the article is saying

This article is saying that in Senate trial, there is not a civilian jury, so they cannot dismiss jurors in the same way.

  • thanks. does the article talk about "Supreme Court cases"?
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 3:00
  • does "for cause" have uses in life?
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 3:10
  • 2
    The phrase 'for cause' is used in the UK legal system too, to mean 'for a [genuine and appropriate] reason'. It could apply to termination from employment, ending of commercial contract, workplace drug or alcohol testing, among other things. Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 17:30
  • @Tim I'm sorry, I made a mistake, the article talks about Senate trials, not Supreme Court cases. I have fixed my answer to reflect this. Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 15:26
  • @Tim In American English, I would not use "for cause" in the contexts that Michael said. I would use "with cause" instead. This may be a dialectal difference. But for example, a job can fire an employee "with cause." Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 15:27

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