Saturday, April 26, 2003

The Constitution

I was perusing the Bill of Rights earlier and I came across #7:

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

So, I was curious about a couple of things. Is this $20 limit still observed? And, either way, what would a strict constructionist say about this? A textualist? An originalist? Or, whatever. Is it the real or nominal $20? What's the real value of late 18th century $20? Did they think about inflation when they wrote this? If not, why not?

Oh Brad, I think this is one for you on the economic history side. And, maybe constitutional scholar Ann Coulter can help us with the law side.