Bill of Rights: Article IX

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

The Ninth Amendment of the Bill of Rights is a disclaimer for the Bill of Rights. The framers of this amendment wanted to make sure that there was no misunderstanding concerning the enumeration of rights in the Bill of Rights. The first eight amendments are not all inclusive concerning people's rights. For instance, we have the right to travel, the right to privacy, the right to procreate, the right to vote. How we exercise these rights however, is fodder for legislative debate and deliberations in court. In my opinion, intentionally or unintentionally, the Ninth Amendment guaranteed that the judicial branch of the federal government would be kept busy interpreting what rights are retained by the people and to what degree they can be regulated if at all. I believe this would have happened without the benefit of a Ninth Amendment. Still, emphasizing that there are rights retained by the people besides those enumerated in the Constitution can be a deterrent to the abuse of power by government.

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