America without Justice Is America without Freedom

It should go without saying, but we want to make sure we all understand that an America without justice is an America without freedom. The civil and criminal justice system protects your other rights and gives you the power to stand up against corporations and the government.

The Right to a Jury Trial Is Your Cornerstone Right

As our founding fathers knew, the right to a fair trial is the right that protects all your other rights. If your right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness is violated, you have the right to seek redress before a jury and either force the violator to stop or get compensation to attempt to erase the wrong.

Every single one of our rights has been contested and protected in the courts. Once our access to the courts is limited, we will begin to lose our ability to protect our other rights.

A Jury Lets Us Make the Decision

Jury trials are more powerfully democratic because they put the decision-making power in the hands of ordinary citizens. In a jury trial, individuals are allowed to make decisions that the greatest powers in the land are compelled to obey.

And only a jury comes without previous engagements to the established powers. Judges are appointed by executives and approved by legislatures—they owe allegiance to the government and will likely continue to show the loyalty that got them appointed in the first place. Arbitrators depend on corporations for business and are more likely to find in their favor.

Corporations Know the Power of the Courts

In 2010, president and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donahue said that “Litigation is one of our most powerful tools for making sure that federal agencies follow the law and are held accountable.” He also said “Our public policy law firm, the National Chamber Litigation Center, stands ready to take the whole alphabet soup of federal agencies to court to make them follow the law and the Constitution.” Corporations know that access to the courts is one of the few ways that someone with less power can compel someone with more power to act according to the law.

What did he say about your right to litigation? Almost nothing, except this, “The Department of Labor is developing a regulation that will require employers to give workers detailed explanations of why they are not eligible for overtime. In addition to creating another opportunity for enforcement and citations, this will fuel major increases in litigation and class action lawsuits seeking excessive damages against employers.” In other words, the US Chamber of Commerce considers it unrealistic that a worker should be given an explanation of why he is being expected to work without compensation. And they’re afraid that litigation will give workers the right to stand up for fair compensation for hours worked.

Don’t believe the propaganda: if you let them take away your right to a jury trial, you will be left with very few rights.

Protect your right to a jury trial, and it will protect your others. Join the fight today!