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America has become a nation of states ruled over by a tiny minority of powerful and wealthy people. Not news, I know, but with the most recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling against the constitutional right of Ohio's citizens to a trial by jury, a ruling the Beacon editorialized upon here, I'm reminded again of how much our once great country has lost.
First....this is the 7th amendment to the Constitution of the United States....
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 re-examined in any Court of the United States, than
according to the rules of the common law. Link
Now read this account of how and why Ohio's Supreme Court justices voted 5-2, in essence, invalidating the 7th amendment for Ohio's citizens.....
Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Moyer observed that over the past three decades the legislature has repeatedly passed bills attempting to rein in what it perceived to be arbitrary and unpredictable damage awards in personal injury lawsuits because it believed such awards were a threat to the state's economic health. In each prior instance, he noted, the legislature's enactments were ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court based on findings that certain provisions in those bills violated constitutional rights of injured parties. Noting that Arbino cited those prior cases as precedent, the Chief Justice wrote, “Arbino argues that the portions of S.B. 80 at issue here are functionally identical to the statutes this court held to be unconstitutional in those (earlier) cases. She alleges that the principle of stare decisis (to stand by prior rulings) therefore requires us to declare the statutes here unconstitutional as well. We disagree.” Link
Behold the audacity!
In essense....the right of an Ohioan to bring a civil suit to court, where the Constitution guarantees that all the facts in that case will be determined by a JURY,including the remedy....has simply been tossed into the trash can. And the excuse for throwing away one of Ohioan's rights? Ohio Supreme Court justices can no longer allow businesses to be harmed financially. Ohioans? Well, basically..... the Ohio Supreme's have said, 'to hell with them'.
Ohio's corrupt and backward Republican majority in the state legislature has tried repeatedly to invalidate the 7th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Alas, only to be slapped down by repeated Ohio Supreme Court rulings (rightly), declaring the attempts unconstitutional.
The case recently ruled upon was really no different from previous attempts to invalidate the 7th amendment by Ohio's Republicans. However, this time Chief Justice Moyer and others must have just reasoned, 'the hell with it, let's just get it over with'.
Notice the reason given for the Republican's concerted effort, finally rewarded, to invalidate the 7th amendment.
"...what it perceived to be arbitrary and unpredictable damage awards in personal injury lawsuits because it believed such awards were a threat to the state's economic health.."
Apparently, the Ohio Supreme Court justices agree with this "reasoning".
And what about stare decisis?....which is simply a fifty cent phrase for "precedent"? What about constitutional consistency? What about all the other rulings in the past by the Ohio justices that concluded this kind of infringement on the 7th amendment was, indeed, unconstitutional?
The five Ohio justices simply...."disagree".
We've found out during the last 7 years that quite a few federal laws and some Constitutional guarantees can simply be dismissed or trampled without any accountability or recourse over a national rogue president. Now we're learning here in Ohio that laws and Constitutional guarantees and amendments must be invalidated for the economic health of Ohio's businesses.
Ohio, on a fast track to becoming the northern mirror image of Mississippi, with this ruling, has fundamentally declared that our state is a state ruled not by law, or a national Constitution, but by a few men for the sake of a few more businessmen.
One more definition....
"...a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few."
Sounds about where we are now.