Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Seventh Amendment and Save Our Juries

Save Our Juries has a mission to “uphold the jury system provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by educating the American public about the current issues, the history, and the value of the right to trial by jury.”

The essential nature of the civil jury trial to our system of justice and to our free society cannot be overstated. Yet each year this fundamental, constitutional right is in slow but continuous decline—and is moving closer and closer to extinction should the trends of the last several decades continue.

The negative consequences are affecting Americans on a daily basis. Today a person can rarely open a bank account, accept a job offer, obtain a credit card, rent a car, or use a cell phone without contracting away the 7th Amendment right. Slowly but surely we are relinquishing equal bargaining power and chipping away at the fundamental freedoms upon which our nation was founded: the right to a trial by jury in civil cases.

This country’s founding fathers recognized that the civil jury trial is both a critical and integral part of a free society and a system of justice for all.

  • James Madison in 1789 noted that, “…trial by jury in civil cases is as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature.”
  • Thomas Jefferson opined in 1789: “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.”
  • In 1787, Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist Paper No. 83: “The friends and adversaries of the plan of the convention, if they agree in nothing else, concur at least in the value they set upon the trial by jury; or if there is any difference between them it consists in this: the former regard it as a valuable safeguard to liberty; the latter represent it as the very palladium of free government.”
  • John Adams was even more blunt when he said in 1774: “Representative government and trial by jury are the heart and lungs of liberty. Without them we have no other fortification against being ridden like horses, fleeced like sheep, worked like cattle and fed and clothed like swine and hounds.”

Save Our Juries is proud to call businessman Mark Cuban, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson official SOJ supporters. Each of these enthusiasts has filmed multiple public service announcements for our cause, and each is a valued partner in our efforts. Together we are elevating SOJ to the status of thought leaders in vital conversations about the state of our civil justice system.

Save Our Juries encourages Americans to help save the Seventh Amendment. The Save Our Juries website and social media channels offer landmark case studies, news reports, videos and information on how to contact legislators and the media demanding that attention be given to this important cause. All Americans need to get together to protect this right!

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