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Retained by the People: The Silent Ninth…

Retained by the People: The "Silent" Ninth Amendment and the…

by Daniel A. Farber

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This is an important book. It's a mere 200 pages, plus another 27 pages of footnotes and glossary and an appendix of closing comments. That last bit is worth the price of the entire book. If you don't count Life's interruptions, it took me a month to read [Retained by the People] because I had to ponder (interpret, if you will) the text. I suppose if I had any college courses in Constitutional Law, it would have been easier; maybe not.

The perspective of the writing is from the Left of Political Center. There is somewhat harsh criticism of the Conservative judges serving on the Supreme Court. He dished it out to the more Liberal judges as well, but not to the same degree.

The 9th Amendment states (in my own words), "By the way, we've mentioned a few Rights of the People earlier, but we want to state for the record that there are lots of other unspecified rights that belong to the People. The Government must understand that what ~it~ may do is defined in the Constitution only, and anything else is not the Government's to muck around with". And now you see why I'm not in politics -- I lack eloquence.

This book ought to be required reading for all kids in high school taking U.S. History 101. ( )
2 vote WholeHouseLibrary | Nov 7, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465022987, Hardcover)

The Ninth Amendment lurks like an unexploded mine within the Bill of Rights. Its wording is direct: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” However, there is not a single Supreme Court decision based on it. Even the famously ambitious Warren Court preferred to rely on the weaker support of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause for many of its decisions on individual rights. Since that era, mainstream conservatives have grown actively hostile to the very mention of the Ninth Amendment. Daniel Farber, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, makes an informed and lucid argument for employing the Ninth Amendment in support of a large variety of rights whose constitutional basis is now shaky. The case he makes for the application of this unused amendment has profound implications in almost every aspect of our daily lives.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:18 -0400)

Argues that the Supreme Court would do better to rely on the the Ninth Amendment when addressing issues regarding fundamental rights, rather than depending on the Constitution's due process clause.

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