Ninth Amendment: Bill of Rights Countdown to New Jersey’s Senatorial Election

The Ninth Amendment: Citizens’ Safety Net for Liberty?

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

Bland, vague and unspecific? Maybe so, but in its understated elegance, the Ninth Amendment contains vital and overarching protection of unenumerated, and often suggested ‘natural,’ rights. To create the simplest metaphor, because our nation’s founding documents might list a citizen’s right to consume spinach, peas and carrots doesn’t mean he or she can be infringed upon by the government to not eat cauliflower. The decision to identify or not identify specific rights and liberties was vital in the debates of the Founding Fathers. Further, the Ninth Amendment is an American construct (primarily authored by James Madison), without roots in English Law.

The Ninth Amendment was seldom cited by the Supreme Court prior to 1965, but is increasingly part of the judicial discussion of privacy rights (has government growth in the post-war period yielded more points of conflict with rights? See chart below).

While the U. S. Constitution contains no express right to privacy, the Bill of Rights offers singular rights such as as the privacy of beliefs (1st Amendment), privacy of the home against demands that it be used to house soldiers (3rd Amendment), and privacy of the person and possessions as against unreasonable searches (4th Amendment).  Thus, the Ninth Amendment follows on as justification for more broadly reading the Bill of Rights to protect privacy and other natural rights in ways not specifically provided for in the other amendments—a safety net. Interesting source material is available at http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/9th+Amendment.

Supreme Court      Government Spending Chart

Advertisements

One response

  1. […] Ninth Amendment: Bill of Rights Countdown to New Jersey’s Senatorial Election (montclairrepublican.wordpress.com) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: