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Public Law and Legal Theory

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2007

Ninth amendment

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The Inescapable Federalism Of The Ninth Amendment, Kurt T. Lash Feb 2007

The Inescapable Federalism Of The Ninth Amendment, Kurt T. Lash

ExpressO

For the past several decades, the majority of courts and commentators have viewed the Ninth Amendment as a provision justifying judicial enforcement of unenumerated individual rights against state and federal abridgment. The most influential advocate of this libertarian reading of the Ninth has been Professor Randy Barnett who has argued in a number of articles and books that the Ninth was originally understood as guarding unenumerated natural rights. Recently uncovered historical evidence, however, suggests that those who framed and ratified the Ninth Amendment understood the Clause as a guardian of the retained right to local self-government. Recognizing the challenge this ...


A Textual-Historical Theory Of The Ninth Amendment, Kurt T. Lash Feb 2007

A Textual-Historical Theory Of The Ninth Amendment, Kurt T. Lash

ExpressO

Despite the lavish attention paid to the Ninth Amendment as supporting judicial enforcement of unenumerated rights, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the Amendment’s actual text. Doing so reveals a number of interpretive conundrums. For example, although often cited in support of broad readings of the Fourteenth Amendment, the text of the Ninth says nothing about how to interpret enumerated rights such as those contained in the Fourteenth. No matter how narrowly one construes the Fourteenth, the Ninth merely demands that such enumerated rights not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people. The ...