Seventh Amendment

We’ve finished the original Constitution and the first five amendments. Today, we’ll consider the Seventh Amendment.

This post is part of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.

Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.

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.

This is a very simple, straightforward and non-controversial amendment regarding the right to a trial by jury in civil cases. Although the figure $20 may seem to be ridiculously low these days, it represented most of a month’s pay for the average person back in the day when it was written.

It is interesting to note the provision that no fact so tried can be re-examined by any other court. While any civil case may be appealed by either party, only the application of the relevant law is appealable. Appellate courts cannot change rulings on facts—only on law.

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Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:

“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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4 Responses to Seventh Amendment

  1. Well, the folks in California have really glommed onto this amendment in spades. Seems like you can sue anybody for any reason nowadays and with a state as liberal and wacky as California there are some doozy lawsuits out there. Lawyers are loving it.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharon K. Walker says:

    I’m learning more about our amendments than ever before.

    Liked by 1 person

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