History of the 9th Amendment The 9th Amendment reads “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. ” In other words, people retain more rights than the ones listed in the Constitution. The 9th amendment is one the least referred to Amendments in decisions of the Supreme Court. People also say it is one of the most confusing, controversial and misunderstood Amendments to the Constitution.
The 9th Amendment has an interesting background. When the Constitution was written by the Constitutional Convention and submitted to the States for ratification, many began to argue that the Constitution did not protect the basic natural rights of the citizens. The Anti-Federalist Party (Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and George Mason) claimed that unless certain rights were written down in a Bill of Rights, the government would take over these rights and abuse people.
Meanwhile, people in the Federalist Party, including George Washington, John Adams, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, believed that the Constitution didn’t give the government the authority to do anything that wasn’t stated in it. Therefore, they concluded that the Bill of Rights was not only unnecessary, but even potentially dangerous.
They believed that if specific rights were listed to be protected from government involvement, people would get the idea that the government controlled the rights that were excluded. After hearing both sides of the argument, James Madison took a stand and tried coming up with a resolution to the problem even though he agreed more with the Federalists. On June 8, 1789, he brought up to Congress a list of his own suggested amendments to Congress.
Among one of the Amendments, was a solution that was later called the 9th Amendment. His solution was worded like this: “The exceptions here or elsewhere in the constitution, made in favor of particular rights, shall not be so construed as to diminish the just importance of other rights retained by the people; or as to enlarge the powers delegated by the constitution; but either as actual limitations of such powers, or as inserted merely for greater caution.
The Congress accepted James Madison’s solution, but not without some final touches before it was added to the Constitution. Congress simplified the wording so that it could be understood better by the people. In the end, the Anti-Federalists won the argument and the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution. Works Cited “9th Amendment to the US Constitution. ” 9th Amendment. Web. 16 Feb. 2012. . 2. Farber, Daniel A. “The ‘Silent’ Ninth Amendment Gives Americans Rights They Don’t Know They Have. ” Home. Web. 18 Feb. 2012. .