Podcasts | Constitutionally Speaking

Episode 39: For Twenty Dollars More — Understanding the Seventh Amendment

(Mark Makela/Reuters )

Luke and Jay spend this episode digging into the peculiar American institution of the civil jury: recruiting your fellow citizens to decide disputes over everything from a cow to a global corporation. The civil jury grows in response to concerns about courts of equity: In revolutionary America (and in England), parties could choose whether to have their cases decided according to law or according to a separate equitable judicial system. Americans aren’t willing to let the equity system continue without juries, so we wind up with the Seventh Amendment. Yet this raises a question: When does the common law begin or end? As it turns out, the founding generation simply asserts that the English common law applies up to revolution and then lets things run after that. However, always skeptical of the citizenry, the states resist implementing the civil jury, and despite the 14th Amendment, the civil jury has never been incorporated against the states. The guys dig deeply into the ideology and the empirical evidence underpinning hostility to the civil jury, but ultimately side with the civil jury as a virtuous institution reflective of the Founders’ devotion to citizen power.

Most Popular

Film & TV

The Mob Gets Kevin Hart

This week, shortly after being tapped to host the Oscars, Hollywood star Kevin Hart found himself on the wrong side of the woke social-justice warriors. His great sin: Years ago, he tweeted jokes referencing homosexuality. More egregiously, in 2010, he did a comedy bit in which he discussed not wanting his son, ... Read More
PC Culture

America Is Intolerably Intolerant

When you think of the sheer vindictiveness of what happened to Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, it takes your breath away. On the very night of his greatest career triumph, a reporter dug up his old tweets (composed when he was a young teenager), reported on the most offensive insults, and immediately and ... Read More
White House

Mueller’s Got Nothing

The revelations of the last few days are, though disguised, the crash in ignominy of the Robert Mueller putsch. But they are far from the end of the story. While the sire of the Mueller hit-squad assault, former FBI director James Comey, declared 245 times at last Friday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing that ... Read More
Film & TV

Aquaman Stinks Like Last Month’s Fish

A  major plot point in Aquaman is the tidal wave of garbage with which the undersea folk attack us surface dwellers. These two groups are spoiling for a fight, but I always thought Warner Bros. and I got along pretty well. What did I do to deserve the tidal wave of garbage that is Aquaman itself? I refuse to ... Read More
Loading...