Seventh Amendment Implications of Providing for the Administrative Adjudication of Claims Under Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968


Congress may, consistent with the Seventh Amendment and Article III of the Constitution, assign adjudication of certain violations of the Fair Housing Act to an administrative agency without a right to a jury trial.

Congress may do so even though the statute alternatively permits such claims to be brought in federal court, where the Seventh Amendment would guarantee the right to a jury trial.

Such a statutory scheme, under which a defendant’s right to a jury trial is in large part contingent on procedural choices of other parties to the proceedings, does not violate the Due Process Clause.

Updated July 9, 2014