Questions about The Bill of Rights


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possom813
January 3, 2013, 08:30 PM
Can someone translate the 9th Amendment for me, in layman's terms?

Amendment IX

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

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possom813
January 3, 2013, 08:32 PM
And 15

AMENDMENT XV

Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude--

Section 2.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

RX-178
January 3, 2013, 08:32 PM
It means that the specific, written recognization of the rights in the Bill of Rights does not mean that they are the ONLY rights the people have.

M-Cameron
January 3, 2013, 08:34 PM
from what i understand....and i very well could be wrong...

it means that any rights not specifically covered by the constitution are not necessarily denied to the people.

CharlieBT
January 3, 2013, 08:42 PM
Yep. We have certain inalienable rights, granted by our Creator, pre-existing and transcending government. The Ninth is a tip of the hat to the full reach of such rights. Just because the government is specifically prohibited from infringing the right to bear arms, does not mean the right to bear arms -- or other mentioned rights -- are the sum total of rights recognized as belonging to the people.

Being denied a 16 oz sugar drink in NYC seems violative of the 9th.

RX-178
January 3, 2013, 08:46 PM
Amendment 15 allowed the passing of laws to make it unlawful for voters to be denied the ability to vote based on their race.

Now when I say 'allowed the passing of laws', it's because that until the Constitution was amended in this manner, Congress did not have the power to pass laws regarding this issue.

holdencm9
January 3, 2013, 08:46 PM
Yep. It's kind of like the disclaimer. The inalienable rights shall include (but are not limited to) freedom of religion, freedom of the press, et cetera.

Therefore, just because it isn't explicitly included, does not mean it is implied to be EXcluded.

Cesiumsponge
January 3, 2013, 08:49 PM
The 9th was a compromise between the federalists and anti-federalists, who battled over the idea of even bothering to add a Bill Of Rights. The whole, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" meant humanity (not just Americans) exist with basic rights, regardless of where you lived and no one could take them away from you.

It was so blatantly obvious and simple at the time that a strong argument was made against including a Bill Of Rights. Of course, since it was America, they could only write a system of government to govern Americans. It was meant to be a catch-all amendment for the folks that didn't want to include a Bill Of Rights because they feared future generations would interpret it as a Bill Of Limitations.

Well...fast forward several hundred years and government views the Bill Of Rights as a Bill Of Limitations and have taken it upon themselves to regulate and restrict everything outside the Bill Of Rights. They've already nullified any power in the 9th and 10th, and they're working on the remaining eight amendments. It's taken a few hundred years, but they're doing a fine job slowly chipping away at it all.

Ragnar Danneskjold
January 3, 2013, 09:25 PM
It's putting in writing that "these are SOME of our rights. There are others that are not in this list, and even if they're not in this list, that doesn't mean they don't exist".

pendennis
January 3, 2013, 10:24 PM
It's a good thing the 1st article did not pass. Can you imagine 6k representatives in D.C.? :D :D :D

BlueBronco
January 3, 2013, 10:27 PM
The 9th Amendment is why I don't buy the line from police that a DL or owning a car is a privilege granted by them. I would really like to see some trooper tell George Washington, John Hancock or even better, Andy Jackson that riding their horses was a privilege granted by the Governor.

pendennis
January 3, 2013, 11:45 PM
Roads and streets are public rights of way, and as such, are subject to regulation by lawful authorities. Using a public road incurs costs, and those costs have to be borne by taxpayers. In order to insure that vehicles and drivers paid their share of operating costs, it became useful to tax (driver's license fees, and vehicle license and registration fees). Eventually the Feds got in on the act, under the commerce clause (U.S. and Interstate highways). Governments also have the authority to annex property to be used for roads and streets through those rights of way.

There's also the intent that the driver, through mandatory insurance or bond, be financially responsible for any potential damage (wrecks, etc.).

I understand that the 9th Amendment covers un-enumerated rights, but English common law probably is a better comparison.

HOOfan_1
January 3, 2013, 11:52 PM
It was so blatantly obvious and simple at the time that a strong argument was made against including a Bill Of Rights. Of course, since it was America, they could only write a system of government to govern Americans. It was meant to be a catch-all amendment for the folks that didn't want to include a Bill Of Rights because they feared future generations would interpret it as a Bill Of Limitations.


Yup...our corrupt politicians have proven Jefferson to be correct. If we didn't have the Bill of Rights, you can bet your life savings that illegal search and seizure would be common, and we would already have no rights to guns. As you said, they are already trying their darnedest to get rid of the Bill of Rights as well.

Cesiumsponge
January 4, 2013, 12:05 AM
You can still drive if you want without the gubment bugging you...on your own property. Using taxpayer assets (public roads) is a different matter.

Yup...our corrupt politicians have proven Jefferson to be correct. If we didn't have the Bill of Rights, you can bet your life savings that illegal search and seizure would be common, and we would already have no rights to guns. As you said, they are already trying their darnedest to get rid of the Bill of Rights as well.
Yeah, the paranoia of those who argued to get a minimal Bill Of Rights inserted, and including the 9th Amendment as a fixall for the short list, ended up being the right choice in the end. With how things turned out today with our American experiment, I'm certain that if the founders assumed their inheritors would understand the obviousness of how these rights were inherent to everyone, we'd be in a much worse place today. Even with what little protection we have left, illegal seizure is already commonplace under the guise of asset forfeiture. Enough judges rubber stamp warrants that many searches turn up nothing because no real solid intel existed to warrant the search. The Interstate Commerce Clause has been used to justify anything and everything.

suemarkp
January 4, 2013, 10:36 PM
Also not that the constitution, especially as originally written, is a limitation on Federal government, not local or state. So all the rights the federal government wasn't supposed to be trampling could have been trampled at the state or county level.

But they've definitely chipped away at things to make the 9th and 10th almost moot. Even the 14th amendment, which was to further limit some of the federal privileges and immunities from state/county restrictions have also been ignored. The federal government will protect racial discrimination from all levels of government. But not gun rights.

Robert
January 5, 2013, 01:19 AM
This is not really on topic for THR.

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