Posted by on April 27, 2017 3:24 pm
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FEDERAL CIVIL SUIT JUDGES OVERRULE JURY FINDINGS of FACT

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FEDERAL CIVIL SUIT JUDGES OVERRULE JURY FINDINGS of FACT

Federal Judges have no power to reexamine or overturn any factual determinations made by a jury where rights that exist between private citizens have been violated. A federal judge can nullify a jury verdict if he decides the verdict is contrary to the law. The most he can then do is remand for another jury trial. The Second Amendment, the Grand Jury Clause of the Fifth Amendment, and the Seventh Amendment are the only provisions of the Bill of Rights not incorporated against the States.
Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution gives the Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction as to law and fact. Reading this, Antifederalist Framers such as George Mason and Richard Henry Lee anticipated problems even before ratification. So they succeeded in placing the Reexamination Clause into the 7th Amendment. Yet over time, the line between “errors of law” and “errors of fact” has eroded.
New Deal procedural devices such as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (1938) damaged the traditional interpretation of the Reexamination Clause. “Summary judgments” and “directed verdicts” appeared. In 1979, Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote, "[T]o sanction creation of procedural devices which limit the province of the jury to a greater degree than permitted at common law in 1791 is in direct contravention of the Seventh Amendment."
In a 1996 dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia stated, "It is not for us… to decide that the Seventh Amendment's restriction on federal-court review of jury findings has outlived its usefulness." Nevertheless, by 2001, despite 210 years of contrary understanding, using the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause, courts somehow decided punitive damages are a question of law.
Whenever you can change a definition to change a republic’s constitution, you earn the good dictatorship seal of approval. The slow-motion demolition of the power of the civil trial jury bears out what Anti-Federalists vainly tried to prevent with the Reexamination Clause. If modern circumstances required tort reform to reign in punitive damages, Congress or the States should have amended the Constitution. When any portion of the Constitution is flouted, because “everyone” agrees it is better that way, you live at risk.
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