The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from the 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.” All rights not included in the Bill of Rights are retained to the people.
W. Cleon Skousen stated, “One of the reasons the framers of the Constitution did not want to enumerate a Bill of Rights was that they feared that the enumeration would never be complete and that other rights might therefore be lost because they were not included. This provision was designed to be a catchall clause to protect all other rights which had not been enumerated.
“Since the national government is one of delegated and enumerated powers, it was important to have this provision so that all rights of citizens could be protected, whether or not they had been mentioned in the Bill of Rights.” (See The Making of America – The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p. 712.)
Thomas McAffee of The Heritage Foundation explained, “Over the past few decades, a number of scholars and Justices, sometimes called noninterpretivists, have defined the `rights retained by the people’ of the Ninth Amendment by various formulas such as `the traditions of the people,’ `ordered liberty,’ social justice, or current notions of autonomy. Originalists take a different perspective. Yet, even among originalists, there are differences in interpretation….
“The view traditionally held among most originalist scholars, as well as jurists and judges at least until recently, distinguishes between the purposes and functions of the Ninth and the Tenth Amendments, finding them complementary but not redundant” (See The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, p. 366).