The First Freedoms
The Privacy Amendments
The 5th Amendment
The 6th Amendment
Civil Trials
The Interpretive Rules

7th Amendment

The 7th Amendment in Summary

The 7th Amendment was added to the Constitution because Antifederalists had feared that Congress, without this protection, might abolish jury trials in civil cases arising under federal law. Some had even feared that the Supreme Court would overturn civil jury decisions arising from state courts through an abuse of its appellate power. Although the addition of the 7th Amendment has no doubt made a difference to the course of American jurisprudence, it has not been as influential as some of the other amendments. In the first place, it is one of the few guarantees found in the Bill of Rights that has never been applied to state governments through incorporation of the Fourteenth Amendment. And in the second place, some findings of juries have still been overturned using the Supreme Court’s appellate power. This was done by labeling certain jury decisions (namely, damage awards) a question of law rather than fact.