The text of the 7th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is as follows: “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.”
The purpose of this website is to educate the public and policymakers on the centuries-long history of the right enunciated in the 7th Amendment to a jury trial for civil suits, the accelerating erosion of our 7th Amendment rights, and current issues illustrating the problem and need for restoration of the Founders’ original intent. A string of court decisions and political developments indicate a strong desire to limit the jurisdiction of the courts in civil suits; either limit the role of the jury in civil suits or eliminate the jury altogether in favor of federal regulators through preemption; and a readiness by federal courts to unilaterally impose onerous filing burdens on plaintiffs. Too often, discussions of these issues are trapped in the swirl of partisan politics without reference to the basic right, for which our ancestors fought and died for centuries, to seek redress over a civil wrong before a jury of peers.
The vast majority of Americans apparently do not realize that the right to a civil trial by jury has its roots in almost 800 years of English law and is protected by the U.S. Constitution. That right, a corollary to the right to a criminal trial by jury, has its foundations in Article 39 of the Magna Carta, translated as, “No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”
The Founder & Editor of the 7th Amendment Advocate, Andrew Cochran, is a business consulting and government affairs specialist in Washington, DC. Mr. Cochran advocates plaintiffs’ and victims’ positions on proposed legislation and regulations before the Congress and the Executive Branch. He works to obtain bipartisan approval of proposed legislation and resolves outstanding claims filed pursuant to federal law. Clients have included the American Association for Justice, headquartered in Washington, DC, the Motley Rice law firm of Mt. Pleasant, SC; and the Perles Law Firm of Washington, DC. On behalf of American victims of terrorism, he has worked with Congressional committees to initiate investigations into selected terrorist financing methods and networks; secured legislation releasing information on pre-9/11 airline and airport security procedures and equipment; and resolved claims against the Libyan regime dating from the Lockerbie and LaBelle bombings in the 1980s.
Mr. Cochran is a lifetime conservative and Republican; served as a political appointee of the Reagan Administration from 1983 until 1988; was a Republican counsel on Capitol Hill; and was nominated by President George W. Bush for a Presidential appointment. He is an attorney and former CPA and, for eleven years, directed government auditors and analysts at the Commerce Department Office of Inspector General in numerous reviews of waste, fraud, and abuse by Commerce agencies and aid recipients. From early 2001 through 2003, Mr. Cochran was senior oversight counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services, chaired by Rep. Michael Oxley (R-OH). He conducted oversight activities and investigations ranging from major identity theft and housing fraud cases to federal money laundering and anti-terrorist financing issues. He also led investigations into the corporate accounting scandals, including the first Congressional hearings on Enron, Global Crossing, and WorldCom. In 2007, President Bush nominated him to be the Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency. He withdrew from the nomination after his confirmation hearing, when it became apparent he was unlikely to be recommended by the committee to the Senate for confirmation. He earned a B.S. in Accounting (cum laude) from Miami University (Ohio), and a M.B.A. (magna cum laude) and J.D. from the University of Notre Dame. He is a Madison Club-level member of the Federalist Society and has served on the Executive Committee of the Financial Services and E-Commerce Practice Group. He is a Member of Tea Party Nation and posts entries there.
In 2005, Mr. Cochran founded the Counterterrorism Blog, the first multi-expert website dedicated solely to terrorism-related events and counterterrorism policy, and he co-edited the website with Douglas Farah until April 2009. Mr. Cochran has appeared in numerous media outlets, including CBS News, MSNBC, the Fox News Channel, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, BBC Radio, Congressional Quarterly, and Roll Call to discuss terrorism issues and events.
Mr. Cochran is solely responsible for the views and information presented on the website. The website was his idea; he owns the domain name; he designed the website with an expert with whom he worked on the Counterterrorism Blog; and he is personally funding the website.