More on the Jack Weinstein gun lawsuits
Interesting story in The Daily Report. Judge Weinstein, US District Court, denied jury trial to one of the dealers sued by Bloomberg. To be precise, he allowedly only an "advisory jury." That's a procedure in judge-only trials (of which there are a few narrow classes), where the judge takes the jury's verdict as "advice" in the course of entering his own verdict.
Going on memory, I think Weinstein is dead wrong in denying a jury. His theory appears to that the suit is for abatement of a public nuisance, the only remedy sought is injunction, and under State law, injunction trials are judge-only.
BUT this is a Federal case, and the 7th Amendment provides "In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved..." Nuisance is common law. As I recall, the courts assess the value of an injunction suit in terms of its money value, the dispute being whether you assess it by (a) its value to the plaintiff if he wins one, or (b) its cost to the defendant if he loses. I trust Bloomberg would not asset that if he wins the injunction would benefit NY by less than $20, and it's safe to say that the dealer's compliance cost would exceed $20. So the defendant dealer has not just a right, but a constitutional right, to a regular jury. Of course, Jack Weinstein is unlikely to allow a trifle like that to stand in his way.