Although the Seventh Amendment protects an individual's right to a civil jury trial, an American Bar Association study found that federal lawsuits decided by jury trial dropped from 5.5 percent in 1962 to 0.8 percent in 2013 and federal criminal cases decided by jury trial dropped from 8.2 percent in 1962 to 3.6 percent by 2013. These trends have been a prominent part of Professor Suja Thomas's scholarship and she discussed the declines and ways the jury trial might rebound with the Brennan Center for Justice. "The Founders talked about the jury’s importance in the same manner that they talked about the power of the branches of government," she said in the interview. "The jury was intended to play a role to protect us in our democracy’s system of checks and balances. The importance of the jury as a branch and the usurping of its power continues to be important today."
Read the full discussion at the Brennan Center website.