Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The Ninth Amendment, particularly when taken in conjunction with The Tenth Amendment, emphasizes that the Bill of Rights is not a grant of rights from the government to the people, but a reminder that it merely enumerates some of the most important powers not granted to the government. For example, the Constitution does not enumerate the right to eat one's food, but the Constitution does not grant to the government the power to deny people that right. The Ninth Amendment recognizes that such natural rights are retained by the people and cannot be abridged by the government.
Since footnote four, the proper application of the Ninth Amendment has been a contentious issue. Robert Bork famously likened it to an inkblot, saying judges were not permitted to make up what was under the inkblot. However, Randy Barnett has argued that the Ninth Amendment requires what he calls a presumption of liberty.
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