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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Quote of the Week: The Seventh Amendment

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.

Seventh Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Why post the Seventh Amendment? Too many companies and employers are forcing their customers to waive their right to jury trial by imposing mandatory arbitration schemes that work to protect the companies' and employers' short-term interests, but subvert the interests of justice. People far too often forget that the right to jury trial is not trivial. It is a fundamental, core principal of American democracy. If it was important enough for our country's founders to put in the Bill of Rights, it is important enough for us to fight to protect.

1 comment:

  1. private contracts are more important than constitutions. Constitutional rights may be waived; see the 4th Amendment case law. "Voluntary, intelligent relinquishment of a known right..." That is exactly what is happening when an employee gives up his right to a jury trial by signing a contract of adhesion. I say exactly because, because in both cases people's knowledge of the right,and voluntariness in relinquishing the right are rightly subject to question.


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