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Mike Bryant
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Why Isn’t The Tea Party Standing Up For Jury Trials?

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I’ve been reading a lot recently about the history of jury trials. There are fascinating stories about juries that have stood up for justice and against strong governmental interference. At one time in England they used to send constables out to arrest members of the jury. They were ordered what to do and what decision to make. Then came the Bushel’s Case of 1670. The jury said no and were actually imprisoned for making an independent decision.

This is the very heart of citizen participation in government. They are a group that gets together and performs a vital governmental function and then they are done. There is no ambition there or concern about what they will do next. They disband and are done.

Seems like something that a lot of the tea party’s rhetoric suggests about the way government should run. The very idea of federally controlled tort reform should also be hissed at by the group. Seems like the state’s rights issue shouldn’t be a very hard sell.

The jury truly is a great system, unlike anything else out there. It’s time that the old stories of why that is import to each of us be revisited.