Appeals From State Courts to the Supreme Court

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.


The clause of the Amendment prohibiting the re-examination of any fact found by a jury is not restricted in its application to suits at common law tried before juries in courts of the United States. It applies equally to cases tried before a jury in a state court and brought to the Supreme Court on appeal.82 The Court has indicated frequently, however, that, in cases involving a claim of a denial of constitutional rights, it is free to examine and review the evidence upon which the lower court based its conclusions, a position that under some circumstances could conflict with the principle of jury autonomy.83

82 The Justices v. Murray, 76 U.S. (9 Wall.) 274, 278 (1870); Chicago, B. & Q. R.R. v. City of Chicago, 166 U.S. 226, 242–46 (1897).

83 See Time, Inc. v. Pape, 401 U.S. 279, 284–92 (1971), and cases cited therein.

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