9th Amendment to the US Constitution: rights retained by the people

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  1. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    9th Amendment to the US Constitution: rights retained by the people

    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." --The Ninth Amendment

    What rights are these? The right to privacy? Natural rights? Rights granted to previous generations by Lords and Kings?
     
  2. beretta304
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    The purpose of the Ninth Amendment is parallel to that of the Tenth Amendment -- especially the last four words of the Tenth.

    Both the Ninth and Tenth Amendments mean that the federal government cannot do what it was not authorized by the U.S. Constitution to do. The people who proposed and ratified the Constitution (before any amendments were proposed) granted to the federal government only certain powers. The reason that "the people" "retain" rights that the Constitution does not mention is because the powers of the federal government are limited. "All is retained which has not been surrendered." When a person is challenging a federal law and making the claim that the law violates his/her "rights," that person does not have to prove that the "right" they are talking about is a right mentioned by the Constitution. The burden is on the federal government to prove that it does have authority to make that law.

    See the opinions by certain Justices in the case of Griswold v. Connecticut -- in particular compare Justice Goldberg's concurring opinion to Justice Black's dissent. Lancelot's quotation above was from Goldberg's opinion in that case.

    Source(s):
    Griswold v. Conn. 381 U.S. 479 (1965).
     
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    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    The Ninth Amendment to the Constitution does not specifically identify any individual rights like the eight amendments that precede it, rather the Ninth Amendment sets forth a rule of construction that is to guide one when interpreting the Constitution. It makes the drafter's intent clear that the enumeration of certain rights in the body of the Constitution1 or in the Amendments thereto shall not be considered to be exhaustive or all inclusive, but rather illustrative. Moreover, when read in conjunction with the Tenth Amendment2 the principal of individual sovereignty and a limited government of delegated powers is firmly established. Therefore the Ninth Amendment, when interpreted in accordance with the Tenth Amendment, should be read as establishing a rule of construction that demonstrates that the Constitution, as a whole, should be construed to mean that the people retain all powers (i.e. right or authority) not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor delegated to their respective State governments by the several State Constitutions.
    Source(s):
    Legal Eagle
    The Forgotten Ninth Amendment
    By: Steven H. Atherton, Esq.
     
  4. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    interesting article on this:
    The 'Silent' Ninth Amendment Gives Americans Rights They Don't Know They Have | Alternet
     
  5. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    This is why the founders and framers chose the 'people' to ratify the US Constitution, and not the 'states'
     
  6. Dante
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    individual rights and popular sovereignty (not individual sovereignty)
     
  7. jillian
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    Justice Black's dissent isn't law.

    and the quote you give still lends itself to a discussion of what was given and what was retained. that was disposed of, at least partially, with the enactment of the first ten amendments. which set forth, minimally, what was retained, which if viewed as a whole, seems to be the privacy of the individual citizen and his freedom from interference in his words, property and religion. those basic rights, and the others set forth in the bill of rights.

    just as a sidenote, the constitution was only intended to apply to white males. it never said a thing about infringing on the rights of blacks and women.
     
  8. martybegan
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    It was intended for "citizens" of the various states, and yes at the time, those were white (property holding) males. Over time the states changed thier citizenship rules, and of course, the amendments from the civil war modified the definition of a citizen at the federal level. Adding in the womens right to vote, as well as the voting age amendment further set federal requirements for citizen rights and voter rights.
     
  9. Dont Taz Me Bro
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    That article is considerably biased.
     
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    In short its saying: no list of rights will deny or discourage other rights which the people have. One right won't cancel out another right. The Ninth Amendment to the Constitution does not specifically identify any individual rights like the eight amendments that precede it, rather the Ninth Amendment sets forth a rule of construction that is to guide one when interpreting the Constitution. It just means that it's not an all-inclusive lists. It reserves the rights to the people and the states to from time to time enumerate more rights.

    For instance, the right to privacy is stated nowhere in the Constitution, however the Court has decided that a right to privacy is inherent in the Constitution, at least partially basing their decision on the 9th amendment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013

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