Article 3, Section 2, Clause 3

[Volume 4, Page 391]

Document 4

Richard Henry Lee to Edmund Randolph

16 Oct. 1787Letters 2:454

It is the more unfortunate that this great security of human rights, the trial by jury, should be weakened in this system, as power is unnecessarily given, in the second section of the third article, to call people from their own country, in all cases of controversy about property between citizens of different states and foreigners, to be tried in a distant court where the Congress may sit; for although inferior congressional courts may, for the above purpose, be instituted in the different states, yet this is a matter altogether in the pleasure of the new legislature; so that if they please not to institute them, or if they do not regulate the right of appeal, the people will be exposed to endless oppression, and the necessity of submitting to pay unjust demands rather than follow suitors, through great expense, to far distant tribunals, and to be determined upon there, as it may be, without a jury.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 4, Article 3, Section 2, Clause 3, Document 4
The University of Chicago Press

The Letters of Richard Henry Lee. Edited by James Curtis Ballagh. 2 vols. New York: Macmillan Co., 1911--14.

© 1987 by The University of Chicago
All rights reserved. Published 2000