9th Amendment to the Constitution

United States Constitution
The U.S. Constitution
Articles of the Constitution
Amendments to the Constitution
Bill of Rights
Additional Amendments
View the Full Text
Original Constitution
Bill of Rights
Additional Amendments

The focus on bill of right is the main feature of the 9th amendment. It protects the rights of the people which are referred as unremunerated rights. Human rights are any person’s right disregard of caste, creed or color, nationality, age, or sex. Many times people are unaware of their rights, and since there are no clear mentions, they tend to get confused or ignore them completely. 9th amendment is a result of disagreement between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists on writing the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States.


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

Conflict between Federalists and Anti-Federalists

During the whole process of the constitutional ratification, there were strong debates about the protection of human rights. When the Constitution became effective, there was no Bill of Rights. The Anti-Federalists were unhappy and they insisted on individual rights. They assumed that too much power was vested in the federal government, which in effect would hamper individual rights. Federalists, on the other hand, opposed them, saying that protective rights may be a detriment to personal liberty. The final outcome of the conflict was the 9th amendment which focused on protecting the enumerated rights.

Highly Ambiguous

If you go deeper into the ninth amendment, it is somewhat confusing as it is very difficult to interpret the meaning and hence everyone has different versions of the subject. Different schools of thought have different views.

Implicit Rights of the People

The 9th amendment lays focus on protecting the implicit rights and they mainly include the right to privacy and some unspecified rights like right to presumption of innocence and right to travel.


Even though the 9th amendment focuses on the human rights, many rights are not included and this comes as a major setback. Presumption of innocence. Even though the American courts treat the accused as innocent till the time the crime is proved, there is no reference in the constitution regarding this issue. The constitution has no specification on the right to a fair trial and the right to a jury of your peers.

Right to Vote

Since states may come up with their own laws and policies which might deprive citizens of their freedom to participate in political decisions, the right to vote must be specified and drawn out. Despite the age requirement to vote, no voting specifications are made which would deny people the right to vote.

Rights to Travel and Marry

Even though everybody feels that they have the right to travel, it is still unclear. The Supreme Court has ruled this is a basic right and goes without saying. The right to marriage again has no mention in the 9th amendment of the constitution.

The Right to Privacy

Since there is no mention about the right to privacy in the Constitution, critics come up with a strong view that the government is modifying and inventing certain rights in terms of political interest.

Debate on Interpreting the Constitution

The main body of the constitution emphasizes on the set up of the Government and the later explains on the things that the Government is permitted to perform. The Constitution cannot be read without interpretation.

Even though many of the rights are not listed, there is no room to violate the rules. Today the 9th amendment helps in stopping the Government from getting their powers expanded. Courts too use it to enforce certain rights which are not mentioned in the Constitution. Instead of giving rights as written documents, it has made statements about the rights. The reason behind not listing each right can be because there are so many basic rights and it is impossible to list out all. 9th amendment may also mean that the basic rights if not listed one by one, does not in any way mean that it can be broken or encroached.

With so many contradictions, 9th amendment is a part of the Constitution that is both explained and unexplained. Even though it is not specific, it imposes no threat to the people as the Government is quite sure of its policies and does not provide chance to any country to mishandle it and hence the rights of the people are safe and there is no cause for concern.

One response to “9th Amendment to the Constitution”

  1. John Wen says:

    Upon first reading of the 9th amendment my thoughts were, that if a persons execution of their constitutional right the execution of such right should not impose on another persons constitutional right.

    Let’s use freedom of speech as an example.
    If a person says something that is disparaging or insinuates that some other person cannot stop them from saying such things because they have Freedom of speech!
    This is telling the person who is being disparaged that he cannot do anything about it.
    Which you can see this is an attempt deny this person of their constitutional right to freedom of speech as while as deny them the right to defend themselves against such disparaging comments.

    It also sets standards that any right given to one is given to all and the laws cannot be made to deny or single out any particular citizen or group of citizens from such rights.

    However our judicial system has case files piled sky high that deal with just these type of cases and must weight where ones rights starts and another ones end.
    To justify these type of decisions the courts have interpreted this amendment to mean that only the government cannot pass laws that infringe on the rights of it’s citizens or groups of citizens. However the judicial system in making such determination also ignored Title 8 of the Us Code and made it read person or persons. Thus giving the rights of our country to anyone from around the world. Be they friend or foe!
    This in turn ignores the other branch’s of the government and allows them to legislate from the bench. Which is not what our founding fathers had intended this amendment to do. Which is suppose to protect the rights of all the citizens of our country equally!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *