In a notice of recent decision, CCL alerted the court hearing its challenge to the Texas medical-malpractice damage cap to a recent decision of the Fifth Circuit that supported CCL's arguments on the Seventh Amendment's right to trial by jury.

     In Winnett v. Frank, the federal district court in Austin, Texas heard oral argument on the constitutional issues and standing in February that asserted the Seventh Amendment satisfies the criteria that applies Bill of Rights provisions to the States and that it prevents other branches of government from substituting their determinations for the jury's assessment of damages as a set of facts constitutionally committed to that body. 

     In a new decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the appellate court that oversees the district court in which Winnett is pending, invalidated certain administrative proceedings held by the Securities and Exchange Commission as constitutionally unsound. While the primary ground was based on separation of powers, the court also found the substitution of administrative procedures to violate the right to a jury trial. The historic analysis that supported the decision tracked CCL's arguments about the scope of the jury-trial right.

     A decision on the issues briefed is pending in Winnett.