The following is a detailed study of the Ninth Amendment. This article is intended to supplement civics lessons for homeschooled
children and their parents. Following the
article are questions to help the student
understand the concepts discussed.
Ninth Amendment to the United
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others
retained by the people.
The Ninth Amendment is the catchall
We the People
provision of the Bill of Rights. It is a tool
available to the courts to acknowledge
the existence of unalienable rights that
aren’t enumerated in the other amend-
ments. To appreciate its importance,
consider all the things in modern so-
ciety that we take for granted that the
Founding Fathers never contemplated.
Ben Franklin never owned a telephone.
His idea of being free from unreason-
able search and seizure was plain. Police
cannot frisk you without a good reason.
They cannot barge into your home and
ransack your files, desk, whatever, unless
they have probable cause to believe you
committed, were committing, or were
about to commit a crime. Even then, the
presumption was that law enforcement
must get a search warrant, and a judge
must approve the warrant.
George Washington probably never
thought we’d have wireless telephones
one day. Now, when a detective wants to
see who a drug dealer or conspirator is
talking to, he not only needs to watch the
perpetrator, he’ll have to subpoena tele-
phone records, caller ID and all related
data for wireless and landline phones.
Cybercrime has given rise to a very
specialized field of criminology. Some
police departments have entire divisions
manned by what we would call computer
nerds who mine computer hard drives
for incriminating data review internet
data for evidence of pedophiles visiting
Kevin Mark Smith, Esq.
A Study of the
The Ninth Amendment is the catchall provision of the Bill of Rights. It is a tool
available to the courts to acknowledge the existence of unalienable rights that
aren’t enumerated in the other amendments.