On Friday, March 21st, Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, VA, will hold what might be the first conference in years (if ever) to discuss the potential for the incorporation of the Seventh Amendment right to civil jury trials to the states as a fundamental right. The conference is under the direction of Regent Law Prof. David Wagner, who has had a long successful career in teaching and in Washington policy circles. The other panelists so far are Prof. Paul Finkelman of Albany University Law School, a nationally recognized expert on constitutional law and constitutional history, and Sean P. Tracey of the Tracey Law Firm in Houston. I’ve already highlighted some of Prof. Wagner’s pro-Seventh work; he previously wrote the first pro-civil juries piece in years in a mainstream conservative magazine (for The Weekly Standard), and wrote blog posts last year opposing federal medical malpractice limits and the House-passed patent reform bill with “loser pays.”
Gun-rights advocates fought for forty years for the Supreme Court to recognize the Second Amendment as a fundamental right, and that is where Seventh Amendment advocates must head. That is the only way to guarantee the God-given right that the Founder cherished so much in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, even over the right to vote. Whether it takes four, fourteen or forty years, we have to start someplace. That’s why we need to hold events like the Unity Summit, which starts today, and the Regent University conference.
I hope readers in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach area will be able to attend the conference, which begins at 6 pm in Robertson Hall at Regent Law School.