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Constitutional Law

2010

Jury

Vanderbilt University Law School

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Originalism And Summary Judgment, Brian T. Fitzpatrick Jan 2010

Originalism And Summary Judgment, Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Over the last several years, the Supreme Court has revolutionized modern criminal procedure by invoking the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial to strike down several sentencing innovations. This revolution has been led by members of the Supreme Court who follow an "originalist" method of constitutional interpretation. Recent work by the legal historian Suja Thomas has raised the question whether a similar "originalist" revolution may be on the horizon in civil cases governed by the Seventh Amendment’s right to a jury trial. In particular, Professor Thomas has argued that the summary judgment device is unconstitutional because it permits judges …