Amendment 9
Make your own free website on
The Constitutional Defense: Amendment 9

The Ninth Amendment:

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

This is an interesting amendment from a legal standpoint. The wording itself isn't vague, but because the amendment doesn't clearly enumerate any specific rights, judges are extremely hesitant to rule that a law is in violation of it, or that a person's Ninth Amendment rights were violated. It is often considered that this amendment protects, among other things, the means of securing other rights protected by the Constitution, such as life, liberty and property. However, it is usually a waste of time to argue this in court. Some people claim that the courts don't rule in favor of this amendment because the judges don't want to grant individuals any more rights. I do not believe this to be the reason most judges have not ruled in favor of it. Instead, I believe judges are hesitant to do so simply because it could be construed to protect different rights in different courts to a much greater degree than any other amendment. There would be too much confusion, and too much disparity between the rulings of different courts. The only way this could be avoided to a large extent is if the Supreme Court supplies a ruling that specifically states the types of rights protected. However, this amendment is particularly susceptible to changes with time. As our government and society continually evolve, the rights people consider to be theirs by nature change. As such, the rights protected by the Ninth Amendment change. If the Supreme Court frequently changed the rights it felt were
protected by this amendment, it would not be a great problem, but the Supreme Court very well may not wish to do so. In which case, the citizens of the United States are still left feeling that their rights are not being protected by the government.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact Jonathan Clark at
Main Page