View Full Version : The 7th Amendment in today's money?

03-31-2004, 01:34 AM
I was leafing through my pocket-sized Constitution today when I came across the 7th Amendment, which reads 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 reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

It occurs to me that the Founding Fathers didn't foresee the abandoning of the gold standard and the subsequent inflation, and assumed that $20 would always be the same sum of money. Of course, while $20 was a substantial bit of change in 1791, nowaday's it's barely enough for a dinner for two. If we were to rewrite the 7th Amendment today using the equivalent of $20 in 1791 money, how much cash would have to be at stake to get you a jury in a civil trial?