One of our fundamental rights is under attack. It is already an endangered species, at risk of becoming extinct. And if we don’t fight to save it, it may not be there when we need it.
The right is guaranteed by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It’s our right to take a civil dispute to a jury of our peers. Civil trial by jury is one of the fundamental pillars of our nation. Our founding fathers thought it was so important, they wrote it into our Bill of Rights.
Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”
But that anchor is now hanging by a thread, frayed by special interests who don’t value a true government by the people. The threat isn’t overt.
It hides behind many names. Some call it ‘tort reform,’ ‘caps on damages,’ or ‘binding arbitration.’ Whatever the name, it’s a danger to all of us.
If someone you love is hurt by someone else’s negligence, you could lose the right to let a jury determine what compensation you should receive. If someone sues you, you could lose the right to explain your defense to a jury.
Our civil jury system is the envy of the world, and one of the few systems of its kind left anywhere. Many countries used to have civil jury systems, but they were eroded over time, along with the rights of citizens.
The troubling decline of jury trials affects both state and federal court rooms. Forced arbitration, tort reform, and sky rocketing court costs are changing how we administer law, but what affect does it have on this Constitutional mandate? Listen Here!