9th Amendment – what does it mean?

The First 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.  There is often discussion and debate about what these amendments mean. Without bringing a political view and without giving legal advice, below is the text of the 4th Amendment and some commentary on it.

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

What this means is that the individual rights people have cannot be used to deny or disparage other rights retained by people. The Ninth Amendment was used in 1965 to strike down a state statute that restricted or prohibited birth control (Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965)). The Ninth Amendment is what allows individual rights not specifically mentioned or outlined in the Constitution to remain protected from government interference.

Usually, when the Ninth Amendment is used to determine a case the court will also mention another Amendment or law that allows or denies the right through an analogy with the other Amendment or law.


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