Bill of Rights: Article VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

The Founding Fathers were obsessed with the need to protect the people against injustices such as those imposed by the British monarchy and with the Seventh Amendment they made sure that “trial by jury” was the law of the land. The 7th re-emphasizes the right of the people to a trial by jury and protection against double jeopardy. In legal action involving the violation of someone‘s “private rights” (rights that exist between private citizens). The 7th Amendment makes sure that justice in cases involving common law will be in the hands of twelve jurors rather than a judge “with an ax to grind”. There is a catch. As I understand it, in the wisdom of the Supreme Court, the 7th is the only Bill of Rights amendments, which has never been ruled to apply to states as well as the federal government. I must admit that trying to understand the reasons for this was trying. The Fourteenth Amendment clearly states, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. So how did the 7th end up not being applicable to states? Only the lawyers know and they are not going to put it into English.

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