So far, I have touched on the First and Tenth Amendments; two amendments that helped solidify and strengthen the concept of Federalism. Another
portion of that salvo (along with my next segment), is the much forgotten and least understood, Ninth Amendment.
The Ninth Amendment reads in full, as ratified as follows:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
That is is. A simple statement to a profound concept; that the Constitution is a limiting
document upon the powers delegated to the the States
and the Federal Government and that which is written in its document, shall never be seen as all encompassing.
James Madison feared that by simply enumerating (listing) rights within the proposed Bill of Rights, that those Rights not listed would be considered
the domain of the State and thus fall under the plenary power to regulate. Enter the Ninth Amendment.
This Amendment, led to the (ATS Thread)Examination of the Bill of Rights: The Tenth
and is the basis of the newly created Federal Government.
The concept of a Federal Government is not new, but the structure in which our forefathers established was. Limiting the powers of the State to that
which the People have agreed to was and still is, unheard of. A structure that not only delegated out certain powers, but retained all Rights to the
States and the People -- then ultimately the People themselves (what this thread is about); was the paradigm shift of all mankind.
The Ninth Amendment is so vital to the content and structure of the Constitution, that it embodies the very fears of James Madison; that by simply
enumerating some Rights; but not others; the State (meaning the Government), will assume that the enumerated rights are granted and not recognized.
The main goal has to been to shift the understanding that our Rights are protected, to that of which they are given. We are allowed to speak freely
(see the IRS, Campaign Finance Reform, etc.), we are allowed to defend ourselves (see any ban, regulation or law against that very notion), we are
only allowed to be secure when the Government deems it to be (see unwarranted searches, TSA, etc.), excessive fines are arbitrary, etc, etc.
All of these are based on the assumption that the Ninth Amendment does not exist and that the Federal Government has jurisprudence in the realm of
these issue (along with many more). It is because of the neglect of the Ninth, that "Free Speech Zones" are created; because the "Commerce
Clause" is severely misconstrued; because the TSA has taken full control of the nation's security in airports; because we have the "Patient
Protection and Affordability Act"; because we are beholden to the Federal Government.
The Ninth Amendment is the keystone of all the Amendments as it serves as the backbone to the Federal System that was given to us; a unified Federal
Government with powerful States that held check to the Federal Government and ultimately the People.
The Ninth Amendment is so powerful and yet underutilized, it is scary at first. Laws that make no sense in California, are clearly protected by the
Ninth Amendment if they were enacted in Texas; that is the core of the Federal System.
If the People of California so wish to ban turkeys statewide, then they do so and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments are satisfied, even if Nevada,
Oregon, Nevada, or Arizona do not wish to participate in that notion; the Ninth Amendment has protected each of the People of their Right.
On the other hand, if the People of California wish to ban smoking in certain venues, it is the Peoples' choice to do so, though I believe it should
be a local issue; not a State wide issue unless the People say it so (with validity) as the States do have tacit authority to determine their own laws
at the behest of the People if they so wish.
I hope by now, you see the system that was to be in place. At the top, we limited the Federal Government to a strict set of confined duties. Beyond
that, the States had authority to determine what was good for the People; so long as the People say it so; all else, is left to the People to
Sadly we do not enjoy that. Today, the notion is that we can only do what the Federal Government (and to an extent, what the individual State
Governments) say we can do. That is completely contrary to the idea of Federalism and to the Constitution.