Collectives Always Erode the Rights of the Individual

I will say it until I cannot physically irk the words out any longer. A collective – be it a political party, an organization, or a government – eventually attempts to use force to erode the natural rights of the individual. It is just the way that human nature works.

 

The National Rifle Association (NRA), bending to pressure from media, government, and individuals said today that they are “prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again”.

 

I am hopeful that this means to actively participate in protecting their membership’s individual and natural right to protect themselves. Tragically – men, women, and children die every day because they are unable to protect themselves, all over the world. If our country (and in particular this organization) wanted to do something great, it would leave collective bargaining and “working with government” between individuals and their representatives. The NRA is a collective, and it will most likely eventually use its membership and “force” to make something “happen” in Washington, D.C.

 

Individuals, acting as individuals responsible for themselves, are the cure for our country’s ills. Government cannot help or save us – organizations like the NRA or the Komen Foundation cannot help or save us. Collectives – big groups of people – can become forces for a cause that eventually erodes your individual right. Our individual right to protect ourselves is on the line. What will you do?

10th Amendment Musings

I again became aware of how little use the 10th Amendment is to states who have no power over their own commodities and currency.

Fresh off the presses, How Race to the Top is re-writing US Education, gives us just another example of the legal blackmail that occurs frequently in our great country.

When an elected official proudly states, for news publication, the following, I question our hopes of realizing solutions:

“These are my best hopes,” he said in May. “You see people doing things that a year ago they said they would never, ever agree to.”

(Get the Scoop Here)

What We Want – Part XI

By: Richard A. Correa Sr. SGT RIARNG, Retired

It is hard to determine which clause of the US Constitution is the most abused. The masters of the federal behemoth seem to take the most obscure parts of this great document and twist them so much it is almost impossible to understand what the original purpose of them was. However, if one is looking for the most misinterpreted and abused clause of the constitution surely the interstate commerce clause would be in the top ten.

As we are no longer taught that the United States of America is a compact between free and independent nations which created an agent to represent them as a whole to the rest of the world, and an impartial ‘referee’ to settle disputes among them, we no longer view the constitution from the correct perspective. Because of this it has been easy for the activist (progressive/socialist/Marxist) judges to manipulate the meaning of the interstate commerce clause into a license for the federal government to do things within the states that it has no real authority to do.

The interstate commerce clause is Article I, section 8, clause 3 of the constitution and reads as follows:

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes

It is the clause in the constitution that gives congress the power to make laws, lay tariffs and import quotas for the imports from other nations. The last two segments of it, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes, exist so congress can keep the trade between the states fair and unbiased and to regulate what people within the states are allowed to trade with the Indian tribes.

We scarcely think about it today but before the constitution each state had laws that laid tariffs on goods manufactured in a different state that were ‘imported’ into it. They also levied taxes and established quotas on goods coming into them from the other states to give locally manufactured goods an advantage over the ‘imported’ goods with the buying public. Add in other regulations not germane to our discussion and it made it very difficult for goods made in Massachusetts to be sold in Connecticut.

The ratification of the US Constitution changed all of this. Under it selling the goods made in one state in all the others became a simple process that allowed the economy of all the states to thrive and the entire union prospered resulting in the economic superiority these United States enjoyed until the 1980s.

It should be noted here that all governments seek to control all levels of the lives of the people that live under them. It is the natural tendency for this to happen not for evil intent, but for the good of all. The argument is simply ‘we’ll be able to protect you from ‘X’ if you give up a little of your freedom so the government can do ‘Y’’. The state and federal governments of these United States are no exception to this rule. A good example is the provision in the Patriot Act that allows the NSA to monitor all private international phone calls. ‘Just give up a little of your right to privacy and we’ll be able to catch the terrorists before they can hurt you’.

The problems with this are:

1)    When you give up some of your rights to solve a problem, once the problem is solved the government does not give back what you gave up

2)    Once agents of the government have this power they will abuse it to protect you from yourself

3)    If you keep giving up a little of your rights when ever there is a problem to solve eventually you have no rights left

So whenever the politicians in the state or federal government say ‘give up this little piece of your rights and we’ll be able to save you from ‘X’’ remember what Ben Franklin said:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.1

But I digress.

Today, thanks to activist judges and a congress that only respects the parts of the constitution which they can misuse to enhance their own power, the interstate commerce clause has been ‘mutated’ into a virus that affects the day-to-day activities of all of us. Sadly, we have become so used to this we don’t even question the constitutionality of the decisions made by these judges or the ‘laws’ passed by the congress. The absurdity of this boggles the mind.

For example, in 1941 Mr. Roscoe C. Filburn, a farmer in Ohio, exceeded his ‘quota’ the federal government set on him for his winter wheat crop. Mr. Filburn used the wheat to feed is farm animals, to make bread and other consumables used by his family and to sell locally. The Department of Agriculture levied a fine on Mr. Filburn of $117.00 because he had exceeded his quota of wheat. Mr. Filburn refused to pay the fine so the Department of Agriculture put a lien on his farm. In reaction to the governments’ actions Mr. Filburn filed a lawsuit against U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Claude R. Wickard in federal district court. Mr. Filburn won his case in the district court, so the federal government appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

In its’ ruling the Supreme Court stated:

The maintenance by government regulation of a price for wheat undoubtedly can be accomplished as effectively by sustaining or increasing the demand as by limiting the supply . . . That [Filburn’s] own contribution to the demand for wheat may be trivial [very small] by itself is not enough to remove him from the scope of federal regulation where, as here, taken together with that of many others similarly situated, is far from trivial . . . Home-grown wheat in this sense competes with wheat in commerce . . . Congress may properly have considered that wheat consumed on the farm where grown if wholly outside the scheme of regulation would have a substantial effect in defeating and obstructing [the act’s] purpose to stimulate trade . . . at increased prices.2

The court further stated:

Whether the subject of the regulation in question was ‘production,’ ‘consumption,’ or ‘marketing’ is . . . not material for purposes of deciding the question of federal power . . . But even if [Filburn’s] activity be local and though it may not be regarded as commerce, it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce.3

The Supreme Court overturned the lower courts ruling and ruled in favor of the government. In essence, the court ruled that the federal government can dictate how much of anything a person can grow on their own property for their personal use and, if carried to the logical conclusion, keep a person from growing anything for personal use on their own land.

The most recent ruling on this matter is as distressing as Wickard v. Filburn. Though it concerns the growing of marijuana for personal use the logic of how the court got to its’ decision is important to the discussion.

When California passed its’ medical marijuana law in 1996 Diane Monson began growing marijuana to alleviate a medical condition she had. She was following her doctors recommendation and as far as can be determined abiding by the laws of the state of California. The DEA raided Ms. Monsons’ property and seized her marijuana. In October of 2002 she filed suit against then Attorney General John Ashcroft and former DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson in federal district court. Though the plaintiffs lost in the district court they appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which decided in their favor, 2-1 on December 16th, 2003. The federal government appealed to the US Supreme Court which ruled on June 6th, 2005 that under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution the Congress may ban the use of marijuana even where states approve its’ use for medicinal purposes. What makes this particularly disturbing is the following ‘analysis’ by the court:

Even respondents acknowledge the existence of an illicit market in marijuana; indeed, Raich has personally participated in that market, and Monson expresses a willingness to do so in the future. More concretely, one concern prompting inclusion of wheat grown for home consumption in the 1938 Act was that rising market prices could draw such wheat into the interstate market, resulting in lower market prices. Wickard, 317 U.S., at 128. The parallel concern making it appropriate to include marijuana grown for home consumption in the CSA is the likelihood that the high demand in the interstate market will draw such marijuana into that market. While the diversion of homegrown wheat tended to frustrate the federal interest in stabilizing prices by regulating the volume of commercial transactions in the interstate market, the diversion of homegrown marijuana tends to frustrate the federal interest in eliminating commercial transactions in the interstate market in their entirety. In both cases, the regulation is squarely within Congress’ commerce power because production of the commodity meant for home consumption, be it wheat or marijuana, has a substantial effect on supply and demand in the national market for that commodity4

If you follow this line of reasoning to it’s logical conclusion the congress can pass a law, which the executive branch will enforce, that prevents you from knitting sweaters for your family because you might give one to a neighbor which interferes with interstate commerce. Or, the congress can make it illegal for you to do your own tune-ups on your car because you might help a neighbor tune-up his car which would have a negative impact on interstate commerce.

If this sounds to absurd to you remember it was under the interstate commerce clause that congress passed the ban on possession of a firearm within a ‘school zone’ denying those that live near a school their second amendment rights. The argument used for this law was that a child being intimidated by someone possessing a firearm, or injured, or killed by that someone, has a negative impact on interstate commerce which makes it legitimate for congress to pass, and the executive branch to enforce, such a law.

One may legitimately ask ‘do these Supreme Court decisions adhere to the principles espoused by the founders’? In Federalist number 45 James Madison said:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined.5

It appears that the Supreme Court, by way of its’ arguments, is in opposition to the father of the constitution. This is a situation that can only come from a progressive view of the constitution.

Alexander Hamilton also addressed the idea of federal encroachment on the internal authority of the states in Federalist number 17:

The administration of private justice between the citizens of the same State, the supervision of agriculture and of other concerns of a similar nature, all those things in short which are proper to be provided for by local legislation, can never be desirable cares of a general jurisdiction. It is therefore improbable that there should exist a disposition in the Foederal councils to usurp the powers with which they are connected; because the attempt to exercise those powers would be as troublesome as it would be nugatory; and the possession of them, for that reason, would contribute nothing to the dignity, to the importance, or to the splendour of the national government.6

It is clear from Hamiltons’ above statement that the idea the federal government would extend its’ reach to this level of control of the people is completely foreign to the intent of those that wrote the constitution. Hamilton also wrote of a self correcting condition built into the federal system. In the same essay Hamilton wrote:

But let it be admitted for argument sake, that mere wantonness and lust of domination would be sufficient to beget that disposition, still it may be safely affirmed, that the sense of the constituent body of the national representatives, or in other words of the people of the several States would controul the indulgence of so extravagant an appetite. It will always be far more easy for the State governments to encroach upon the national authorities, than for the national government to encroach upon the State authorities. The proof of this proposition turns upon the greater degree of influence, which the State governments, if they administer their affairs with uprightness and prudence, will generally possess over the people; a circumstance which at the same time teaches us, that there is an inherent and intrinsic weakness in all Foederal Constitutions; and that too much pains cannot be taken in their organization, to give them all the force which is compatible with the principles of liberty.7

From this it is clear that the founders intent was that if the federal government should usurp this much power that the sates, supported by the people, would redress the imbalance and restore the power stolen by the federal government to where it belongs, in the hands of the states and the people.

Thomas Jefferson said in a statement on this topic:

To make a thing which may be bought and sold is not to prescribe regulations for buying and selling. Besides, if this were an exercise of the power of regulating commerce, it would be void, as extending as much to the internal commerce of every state, as to its external.

So it is clear that the federal government, in particular the congress, was never to be able to attain this level of control. The US Supreme Court has granted to the Congress power they have no authority to give. This means they have stolen that power from the states and the people.

It is almost impossible to say how much better off you would be if this had not happened. The myriad horde of federal regulation that imposes themselves on our lives would certainly be less if we the people stood up to the federal beast and empowered our state governments to stand with us so we could rein in this abuse.

What do we want? We want the US Supreme Court to correct these misinterpretations of the power entrusted to it and to the congress, and we want the congress to cease legislating in areas it has no authority to legislate in. It is long past time for the federal government to behave itself.

1 Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 175, US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 – 1790)

2&3  Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)

4 Gonzales v. Raich (previously Ahscroft v. Raich), 545 U.S. 1 (2005)

5 James Madison, Federalist, no. 45, 308—14

6 & 7 Alexander Hamilton, Federalist, no. 17, 105—8

8 Quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson source unknown.

What We Want – Part X

By: Richard A. Correa Sr. SGT RIARNG, Retired

Most Americans are completely unaware of this nation’s Civil Asset Forfeiture laws, and those that are aware of these laws usually became aware of them after the government has seized an item of property belonging to them for a crime that was never committed. In Civil Asset Forfeiture actions, the owner of the property is not charged with a crime, but the property is seized for either “hosting” an illegal activity or being the proceeds of an illegal activity, mostly for drug related activities. Once seized it is up to the property owner to prove the alleged activity did not happen and therefore the property should be returned to the owner (or, in the event the activity did take place, that the owner had no knowledge of the alleged activity and therefore is an innocent bystander). These laws are such a violation of our rights under the US Constitution that it has to be said again, THE PROPERTY OWNER MUST PROVE THAT THE PROPERTY WAS NOT THE SCENE OF AN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY OR THAT THE PROPERTY IS NOT THE PROCEEDS OF AN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY; the government is not required to prove anything.

The majority of these seizures go uncontested because of the value of the asset seized. As stated on the webpage of Forfeiture Endangers American Rights, “The average vehicle siezed is worth about $4,000,” states FEAR president Brenda Grantland, Esq. “To defend a case, especially when you’re out of state, they’ve pretty much made it cost prohibitive.

Under these laws the mere possession of cash can be considered evidence of criminal activity though no crime has been committed and the person holding the cash is not in possession of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia. All this is being done in the name of the “War on Drugs,” with complete disregard of the victim’s constitutional protections. In some cases, people have been killed or imprisoned though they never violated any law. Some of those killed were shot by law enforcement officers serving a seizure warrant, but they had gone to the wrong address.

This activity is clearly in violation of the IVth Amendment to the US Constitution which states,

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

the Vth Amendment to the US Constitution which states,

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

though the federal courts have ruled this process meets the due process clause, and section 1 of the XIVth Amendment to the US Constitution which states,

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Jennifer Abel wrote in an October, 2007, article published by the Hartford Advocate. “Even if you’re a law-abiding citizen who’s never been convicted of a crime, local police are allowed to confiscate your property and money and keep up to 80 percent of it for themselves, with the legal stipulation that this windfall be spent only on programs likely to result in additional confiscations where the police can keep up to 80 percent of the booty for themselves,

These laws have changed our local police departments from agencies charged with enforcing our laws to highway robbers and invaders of peoples homes for the sole purpose of looting their victims and enriching the department.

The most egregious of these laws is the federal law which allowed the US Department of Justice to set up its “adoption’ program.” Under this program a local law enforcement officer can claim to be acting as a “federal deputy” at the time the officer seizes property. As most of the states have greater restrictions on asset forfeiture and returns smaller amounts of money to the police agency that made the seizure, claiming to make the seizure under the DoJ’s “Adoption Program” allows the local police agency to keep 80% of the money made by the auction of the seized property, circumventing the states’ laws, while the US Federal government keeps the remaining 20%, a win-win for everyone except the US citizen who has been robbed by this process.

In their twelve month study “Drug Enforcement’s Double-Edged Sword: An Assessment of Asset Forfeiture Programs”1 sociologists Mitchell Miller (University of Tennessee) and Lance H. Selva (Middle Tennessee State University) described forfeiture as a “dysfunctional policy” that forces law enforcement agencies to subordinate justice to profit. The researchers “covertly” observed form within drug enforcement agencies. The researchers observed the agencies they studied routinely abandon investigations of suspects they knew were dealing in large amounts of contraband because the case was not “profitable.” The researchers also observed the agencies target low level dealers rather than the large traffickers because they did not “protect” their assets as well as the “big” traffickers. The report states, “Efficiency is measured by the amount of money seized rather than impact on drug trafficking.

In one case when the researchers asked why the police had not served a warrant on a drug dealer known to have large quantities of contraband for sale an officer replied, “Because that would just give us a bunch of dope and the hassle of having to book him (the suspect). We’ve got all the dope we need in the property room, just stick to rounding up cases with big money and stay away from warrants.”

In another case the researcher was told to “observe the suspects” daily transactions so the police could wait until the cocaine the drug dealer was selling had been “converted” to cash so making the arrest would be “profitable.”

The information in the report leads to the inevitable conclusion that the anti-narcotics efforts of the agencies observed were not to stop the inflow of illegal drugs, but to maximize the profit made by the law enforcement agencies under study.

In an article written by John Worral titled Addicted to the drug war: The role of civil asset forfeiture as a budgetary necessity in contemporary law enforcement” he stated, “A conflict of interest between effective crime control and creative fiscal management will persist so long as law enforcement agencies remain dependent on civil asset forfeiture.”2

In the early 1990’s the US Forestry Department became interested in acquiring the “Trails End Ranch,” which abutted the Angeles National Forest in Malibu, California from its owner, Donald Scott, a local millionaire. Mr. Scott did not wish to sell the property and the matter would have ended there except for two enterprising LA County sheriff’s deputies. After conducting some “over flights” of the property, the deputies falsely reported that Mr. Scott was growing marijuana on his property for sale.

In the early morning of October 2, 1992, LA County Sheriff’s deputies and agents from five federal agencies entered Mr. Scott’s home to serve an asset seizure warrant that was based on the false report of the sheriff’s deputies. The Scotts were awakened by the police smashing in their door. Mrs. Scott ran down stairs to be faced with several heavily armed men, dressed like ninjas, entering her home. When her husband heard her scream, “Don’t shoot me,” Mr. Scott, who was recovering from recent cataract surgery, exited their bedroom carrying a gun and came to the top of the stairs of their home. The police ordered him to lower his weapon and as he did so they shot him, killing him.

Mrs. Scott fought to recover their property and for justice over the killing of her husband. Because the government seized all of their property and money, she lived on the tennis court of the property, refusing to leave but unable to stay in her own home because the government locked her out.

In a report by the Ventura County District Attorney, Michael Bradbury, stated that the police lied to get the warrant, that no illegal activity had taken place on the property, and the incident was motivated by the desire to forfeit the multi-million dollar property. Despite this, no law enforcement officer was disciplined for this action in any way.

A number of articles on the topic have also appeared in many newspapers and magazines over the years, and yet the public remains mostly ignorant of these laws. In an article titled “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” by Randy Fitzgerald3, five instances of abuse were cited where the government was proven to be “wrong” in seizing the property, but the property owner had to go through great expense to recover their property, sometimes having to sell the recovered property to pay their legal expenses.

For instance, in December 1995 Cheryl Sanders was driving on US Interstate 10 when she was stopped for speeding. Instead of getting a ticket, the police arrested her and took her to the Sulphur, LA jail. There she had to submit to a strip search. After searching her and her car she, was released but the police seized her car stating it had a secret compartment for transporting drugs. She hired an attorney and after seven months, a judge ruled the police had to return the car; however, by then she had to sell the car to pay her attorney fees.

Is any of the above the way you want your local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to work? Do you want the police basing their law enforcement decisions on how profitable they may be? Do you want them ignoring criminal activity because it is hard to get a good payoff for the effort? Do you want them to get away with falsifying reports so they can get warrants to take your property when no crime has been committed? And when they kill an innocent person, should they get away with it?

How did the founders of this nation view the right to property and the government’s responsibility in that regard? In the Federalist # 10 James Madison said,

The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.

In the same document he further stated,

The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice.

And, in the same document, when speaking of the advantages of a republic over a democracy he stated,

Such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

John Adams stated it this way in the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights,

“All men are born free and independent, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights, among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.”4

Thomas Jefferson said,

I believe .. . that a right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings; that no one has a right to obstruct another exercising his faculties innocently for the relief of sensibilities made a part of his nature . . .” 5

From the above it is clear that what the federal, state and local governments have implemented in these civil asset forfeiture laws are antitheses to what the founders of this nation intended. The governments of these United States are stealing the property of law abiding citizens, in violation of all constitutional principles, based on hearsay and falsified evidence without having to prove in a court of law the alleged crimes the government says give them the right to seize the property. These laws turn upside down the whole concept of innocent until proven guilty.

For those that have never been affected by these laws the repeal of them would not be noticed except, perhaps, for a slightly increased sense of security. For those that have been the victims of these heinous statutes, the repeal of them would provide some small measure of vindication that their loss was not in vain, and that their travail was instrumental in restoring some of our lost liberty.

So what do we want? We want the government of these United States, and their associated law enforcement agencies, to cease using these odious statutes as an excuse to steal from us and the national and state legislatures to immediately repeal the offending “laws.”

1 Sociologists Mitchell Miller (University of Tennessee) and Lance H. Selva (Middle Tennessee State University) Drug Enforcement’s Double-Edged Sword: An Assessment of Asset Forfeiture Programs
2 John L. Worrall, Department of Criminal Justice, California State University, San Bernardino, Addicted to the drug war: The role of civil asset forfeiture as a budgetary necessity in contemporary law enforcement, Journal of Criminal Justice Volume 29, Issue 3, May-June 2001, Pages 171-187
3 Randy Fitzgerald Guilty Until Proven Innocent Readers Digest March 2000
4 G A Peek, Jr, (ed) ‘The Political Writings of John Adams ‘(New York, 1954) p 96
5 E Dumbauld (ed) ‘The Political writings of Thomas Jefferson’ op cit p 49

Updated Bill List – Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010

Already in our national and local versions of The Good American Post, you will find contact information for your representatives at the local, state, and national level.

We want to take this one step further by have information on LEGISLATION that is at the state and national levels that may affect our Constitutional Rights.  Let’s all look at the issues and make sure that our representatives are aware of how we feel about them.  KNOW WHAT YOU ARE VOTING FOR and keep your representatives honest!

Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 – Could either remove natural vitamins from the marketplace, or make them regulated to the point where they would HAVE TO BE SOLD BY A PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY.

HR-2454, American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009

HR-3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

HR-2749,  Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009
– This one has already passed in the House!!!!

HR-875, Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009

HR-3458, Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009

HR- 45, Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009


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Bill of Rights – Amendment 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.

Bill of Rights – Amendment 6

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

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