Arguments for my Replacement Bill of Rights: The Rights Part 7

The 7th, 8th, and 9th amendments to the US constitution which are to be replaced by my proposal are as follows:

Article [VII]
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.

Article [VIII]
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Article [IX]
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The seventh amendment extends the right to trial by jury to civil cases, and makes the results of civil cases immutable except in accordance with a law.  What are currently civil cases, under my proposal, can only reasonably occur when a violation of rights has occured.  Therefore, civil cases will be handled as criminal cases under my proposal.  These cases will typically involve witting or unwitting violations of individuals’ rights to pursuit of happiness including damage to property, negligence, fraud.  Under my proposal, the punishment for such violations can only be a temporary or permanent revocation or suspension of the criminal’s right to the pursuit of happiness.  This revocation or suspension will often take the form of a fine and/or additional behavioral restrictions not otherwise applicable to other individuals and/or some form of labor in lieu of a fine.  As I have previously stated in parts 5 and 6 of these arguments, trial by jury is the most reasonable way known to insure objectivity in criminal trials and therefore perserve the rights of the individuals involved.  Therefore, under my proposal, the right to trial by jury for what are currently considered civil trials would be gauranteed by reason at least until such time as reason dictates it must be better otherwise.

The eighth amendment, under my proposal, is managed by the mandate to Congress to determine the consequences of violations of rights and to enumerate them in law.  Since Congress must outline specific consequences and write them into law, they will be known by the people, and the people can communicate to their representatives before and after the passing of such law that the consequences contained therein are believed to be unwarranted and cruel.  If the Congress should attempt to make a law outlining consequences to be determined later by say a judge, or in a manner which must naturally permit unreasonable punishments, then that law can be constitutionally challenged on the grounds that it did not meet the requirements of the mandate.

The ninth amendment under my proposal, is gauranteed under the right to the pursuit of happiness.  Because the right to pursue happiness is the right to determine one’s own values and pursue them, it is also the right for one to determine additional rights.

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