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

Headnotes: 

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