Texas Watch

Why the 7th Amendment Still Matters

Why the 7th Amendment Still Matters

The New York Times three-part series on forced arbitration, published last week, has sparked a debate in the media on the importance of trials by jury. Most recently, the Waco Tribune published an op-ed from Bloomberg View, which argued that the Seventh Amendment wasn’t all that great. We offered a different view:

In his recent column, Justin Fox says that allowing individuals to
access the courts is “a terrible way to discipline corporate misbehavior.”

Admittedly, our legal system isn’t perfect – nothing created and run by imperfect humans is. But, what’s the alternative? Should we all just turn a blind eye to corporate malfeasance and let bad businesses cheat the market and harm their customers? Perhaps we should expand biased, expensive, closed-door forced arbitration that allows bad actors to hide their misconduct from public view? Or maybe we should grow the size of government by turning over corporate oversight to bureaucrats?

No way are these better options.

The fact is that the citizen jury system is the best, most efficient, and least corruptible way to ensure accountability for needless physical and financial harm. Our founders felt so strongly about it that they embedded the right to a civil jury trial in the Constitution. It’s the 7th amendment. Check it out.

The bottom line is that our civil jury system works.

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