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US Government

Ninth Amendment

The Ninth Amendment was part of the Bill of Rights that was added to the Constitution on December 15, 1791. It says that all the rights not listed in the Constitution belong to the people, not the government. In other words, the rights of the people are not limited to just the rights listed in the Constitution.

From the Constitution

Here is the text of the Ninth Amendment from the Constitution:

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

Confused?

The wording used in the Ninth Amendment can be confusing. Let's go through a few of the phrases:

"enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights" - The word "enumeration" means an ordered or numbered list. So here they are referring to a "list of rights" in the Constitution.

"shall not be construed" - The word "construed" means to "interpret the meaning of something". So this means something like "don't take this to mean."

"deny or disparage others retained by the people" - This means that the government can't take away (deny or disparage) other rights of the people.

If you put this together you get:

Just because there is a list of rights in the Constitution, it doesn't mean that the government can take away other rights of the people that are not listed.

This isn't meant to be a legal definition, just something to help you understand the general meaning of the amendment.

What are some "other rights"?

The Ninth Amendment never lists exactly what rights are "retained by the people." That's sort of the whole point of the amendment. Different people have different ideas as to what these rights may be. Can you think of some "rights" you think are still held by the people? Here are a few examples: The Right to Privacy

What about the right to privacy? It turns out that the Supreme Court in 1965 decided that the Ninth Amendment protected the right to privacy within a marriage in the landmark case of Griswold v. Connecticut.

Interesting Facts about the Ninth Amendment
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Works Cited

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