- Dollar amount absurdly low.
- "Suits at common law."
- What counts as a suit at common law?
- Methodology/test for suits at common law very historical:
- How would this lawsuit have been considered in 1789?
- "Originalism": intent of framers, those who wrote the words, in this context.
- Very contentious idea in constitutional interpretation generally.
- In context of 7th Amendment, very little dissention, even by more liberal members of court who usually dislike this approach.
- But they all buy into this idea in context of 7th Am.
- Because 7th Amendment written textually in an odd way:
- Unusual use of "preserves" as compared to other provisions in bill of rights.
- Compare 7th vs. 4th Amendment.
- Thus connotes historical approach.
- "Preserve" (lock into place)
- Make immune from change vs. respect this right (not "preserve" it)
- What did they have in mind?
- Lawsuits today are often very different from 1789,
- If claim is the same, can simply go back and compare.
- Thus trespass, nuisance easy.
- But modern lawsuits have different causes of action: how to decide this? What is a "suit at common law"?
- So must reason by analogy: why most similar to (a) vs. (b)?
- Law vs. equity
- Originally codified with a dual system (law vs. equity), now in almost all states and federal there are no separate cases of law and equity (FRCP merged courts).
- Originally a way for the Crown to appease two sets of people, not a system that makes a lot of sense when comparing what the two courts actually did.
Class notes and materials by a law student for law students.
7th Amendment: Right to a Jury