Although I’ve often criticized the constitutional tone-deafness of “progressives,” conservatives can sometimes exhibit such tendencies as well. Over at The Seventh Amendment Advocate, Andy Cochran points out why trial by jury in civil cases—as guaranteed by the Seventh Amendment—is important, and how some conservatives disregard it.
The problem arises because when constituency politics often trumps principle. Just as liberal Democrats like to attack the oil and gas industry because it is perceived to support Republicans, so also conservative Republicans like to attack trial lawyers, who disproportionately support Democrats. Hence, many Republicans sign onto proposals to have Congress impose mandates on state court systems in the name of “tort reform.” Those Republicans tend to forget that trial by jury isn’t about protecting lawyers (no matter what their political party). Trial by jury is about protecting individual rights.
Andy Cochran’s article is thoughtful and worth reading. My own take on the same subject is here.