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Everyone knows about the First Amendment right of free speech and the Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. Even the once-forgotten Second Amendment, with its "right to bear arms," has reemerged in public debate. But few people know about the Ninth Amendment, which reaffirms in broad terms rights "retained by the people." Indeed, the Ninth flies so far under the radar that it has rarely been mentioned even by the Supreme Court.
What a pity. Even more, what a terrible oversight: the Ninth Amendment bears directly on such modern-day constitutional issues as abortion, the right to die, and gay rights.