3 thoughts on “The Tenth Amendment”

  1. The real orphan amendment in the Bill of Rights – unacknowledged by either Right or Left – is the 9th: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    The Cornell Law School demonstrates its ignorance of the concept of “rights” in its synopsis of the 9th Amendment, to wit: “The Ninth Amendment was James Madison’s attempt to ensure that the Bill of Rights was not seen as granting [sic] to the people of the United States only the specific rights it addressed.” But the idea is vaguely there. Madison didn’t want to see the Bill of Rights as an either exhaustive list of rights, or as the Constitution granting rights (which can’t be granted or revoked, only infringed).

    IMHO, the Ninth Amendment takes priority over the Tenth. Otherwise, their order would be reversed.

    1. I agree that the 9th Amendment should be important but has been neglected. From what I’ve read, the RU constitution has a list of hundreds of enumerated rights. If it isn’t in the list, you don’t have it. Our Constitution has a narrowly defined list of rights (thanks to the Anti-Federalists) but the 9th makes up for that. According to the 9th, the enumerated rights are not all inclusive. This can lead to controversy, such as the right of privacy used as a basis for the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling. Privacy is never mentioned in the Constitution, but I think most Americans would agree that we do have a right to privacy, or at least we did in the pre-Internet age.

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