The Bill of Rights: The Ninth Amendment

Provides that people retain other rights.



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The Bill of Rights has guaranteed our freedoms and rights for over 200 years. In this regular series, Dean Leonard Baynes with the University of Houston Law Center looks at how they relate to society today.

“The Ninth Amendment provides that the rights enumerated in the Constitution are not exhaustive, and the people retain all other rights. This amendment has rarely been adjudicated.”

“The Ninth Amendment has not been the sole basis of any Supreme Court decision. In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court held that the right of marital privacy predated the Constitution and the First, Third, Fourth and Ninth Amendments operating together protected that right, allowing married couples to lawfully use contraception.”

“While judges and scholars have debated the Ninth Amendment’s meaning; courts are more likely to use the amendment as a rule of construction for the Constitution, rather than as a freestanding guarantee of substantive rights. ”

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