The Genius And The Neglect Of The Ninth Amendment

The Genius and the Neglect of the Ninth Amendment

The development and ratification of the Constitution of the United States was one of the greatest breakthroughs for governance in world history. One of the promises that secured the ratification of this document was the promise that a "Bill of Rights" would be developed, passed, and included in this new Constitution within a very short period of time. The first eight Bill of Rights amendments asserted and guaranteed the rights our Founding Fathers considered the most essential and inherent to the citizens of the United States and for that matter the world.

There were some major concerns regarding the inclusion of a Bill of Rights into the Constitution. James Madison and Alexander Hamilton both felt that the original U.S. Constitution was a strong enough document to protect the American people's rights on its own. Thomas Jefferson and many others vehemently disagreed. Madison and Hamilton felt that the enumeration of only these eight rights would be interpreted as stating that these rights were the only ones to be upheld and preserved for this new country. Therefore a compromise was reached by including the Ninth and Tenth Amendments in the Bill of Rights.

The Ninth Amendment reads as follows, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people". I believe this amendment was an ingenious compromise as well as a solution to Madison and Hamilton's concerns. Similarly, the Tenth Amendment clarified the powers, jurisdictions, and rights of governments. The United States Constitution spells out the powers, juridictions, and rights the federal government is entitled to. Any of these not granted to them within the Constitution are automatically placed under the purview of the individual states. I am going to concentrate on the Ninth Amendment within this Hub and save my analysis of the Tenth Amendment for another article. I believe that both amendments perfectly display the wisdom of the creators of the Constitution. Unfortunately, at least in my view, the Ninth Amendment has been hugely underutilized and often ignored.

I will begin this Hub by describing some of the arguments the Founding Fathers wrestled with before creating this amendment. Then I will give a brief history of the instances where the Ninth Amendment was used both unsuccessfully as well as successfully. Finally I will attempt to convey my own vision of how I feel this unique and wise amendment should be used now and in the future to ensure that the rights and welfare of American citizens are protected more fully.

The United States Constitution was argued over and written at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787. The Articles of Confederation, which were governing the U.S. at this time, had proven itself to be too weak and ineffective to allow the government to operative efficiently and productively. The subject of including a Bill of Rights was discussed at this convention but was never agreed upon or included in the original Constitution. The ratification by the states of this newly proposed Constitution was far from assured. Many states and political leaders were insisting upon a Bill of Rights being incorporated into it before they would ratify the document. Thomas Jefferson and other anti-Federalists were extremely wary of the stronger federal powers that this new Constitution would install. Jefferson convinced a reluctant Madison to develop and submit a Bill of Rights which would act as a barrier against the federal government infringing upon its citizens rights. An understanding was finally reached which entailed instructions for the first United States Congress to develop and pass a Bill of Rights.

The Constitutional Convention completed and signed the new Constitution on December 17, 1788. This document was submitted to the thirteen individual states for ratification. All thirteen did so but only after some very bruising battles in each state. On September 13, 1788 the Constitution was finally certified and it became the governing document of the United States. James Madison submitted his proposal for the Bill of Rights to the first Congress on June 8, 1789. The Bill of Rights was passed by Congress on September 25, 1789. It was sent to the states for ratification and became law and part of the United States Constitution on December 15, 1791.

The Ninth Amendment has proven to be a very elusive amendment to define and interpret from its very inception. The Founding Fathers stated that the first eight amendments of the Bill of Rights were by no means the only ones essential to United States citizens as well as all human beings. The problem then arises as to how we determine what other rights are also to be retained by the people. Most strict constructionists argue that the only way to recognize other rights not already enumerated would be to pass Constitutional Amendments. What then is the utility of the Ninth Amendment if that is the case?

The first constitutional case where the Ninth Amendment was even vaguely referred to was in Barron v. Baltimore in 1833. The Supreme Court ruled that the Ninth Amendment and all of the original ten amendments could only be considered in federal cases. The first case where the Ninth Amendment was used directly was United Public Workers (UPW) v. Mitchell in 1947. The case challenged the Hatch Act of 1939 which restricted political activities of federal employees. The House of Representatives discovered that the UPW had supported several candidates and parties for federal office. The union's argument against the Hatch Act was that the Constitution did not give the federal government the power to restrict their campaign activities. Therefore the Ninth Amendment confers the right to these activities because they are thus retained by the people. The Court ruled against the UPW and upheld Congress' authority under the Constitution to legislate as they did.

The Ninth Amendment did not receive a victory in the Supreme Court until 1965 by way of the Griswold v. Connecticut case. This case challenged a Connecticut law that prohibited the use of any medicines or instruments to prevent pregnancy. Estelle Griswold was the Executive Director of the Connecticut Planned Parenthood and her branch opened a birth control center. The Supreme Court ruled by a 7-2 margin that this law violated marital privacy. They used the Ninth Amendment as the direct basis for recognizing this implicit right. They extended this right to unmarried couples in the 1972 Eisenstadt v. Baird case.

In 1973 the Supreme Court used this "Right to Privacy" and extended it while helping to decide the Roe v. Wade abortion case. Unfortunately the Court decided to use the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause as its primary citation. The lower district court had used the Ninth Amendment as their primary justification for allowing women to have abortions if they chose to because they had a right to privacy. The Ninth Amendment has only been used in supporting roles since this decision.

The current makeup of the Supreme Court is much more conservative than in the recent past. It is thus very unlikely to consider most or any Ninth Amendment arguments. The reason for this is that this amendment does not explicitly name any particular rights. Most conservative justices are anathema to citing this amendment in their decisions for that reason.

The Ninth Amendment clearly has a thin history in regards to Supreme Court cases. Privacy rights are the only rights that the Court has been willing to extrapolate from it. Even then they needed support from other amendments. The current conservative Supreme Court will most likely never use the Ninth Amendment or any others to recognize other implicit Constitutional rights. A more progressive Supreme Court will be needed for that. What should a more progressive Court look to do in regards to using the Ninth Amendment to recognize other rights?

I believe they should look to identifying the essential life sustaining rights of all people. One that immediately comes to mind is healthcare. The Healthcare industry is no longer the basic and inexpensive profession of previous generations. Drug development costs, complex and expensive diagnostic medical equipment, and expensive hospital expenses are among the many factors that have dramatically ballooned the size of medical bills. Most American citizens cannot afford proper healthcare if left on their own to purchase it. This is due to the massive cost. Currently most people receive their healthcare insurance through their employer. The elderly receive it through the government by way of Medicare. Americans who are not employed or elderly have no access to affordable healthcare insurance. This is because they do not have the benefit of access to pooled insurance that spreads risk. The result is that most unemployed Americans go without this vital need because they cannot afford the insurance. I submit that this condition is cruel, inhumane, and unfair.

I propose that National Healthcare Insurance should be mandatory for all Americans because it is an implied right that can be derived from the Ninth Amendment. Medical care is almost as necessary to human existence as food and water. How can we in all good conscience effectively deprive many Americans of this essential life sustaining service? I say that we should not and cannot. My belief is just as privacy rights have been upheld as implicit by the Supreme Court by way of the Ninth Amendment, so should essential human needs such as affordable healthcare be upheld as implicit rights.

James Madison could never have imagined healthcare becoming as expensive as it is now and thus becoming an urgent need and perhaps even a right. That is why Madison created the Ninth Amendment. He knew that the eight amendments that he wrote for the first Congress could never encompass all rights that citizens are entitled to. This was as true for that time with its less complex issues and technology as it is now. The Founding Fathers probably felt that privacy rights were implicit within the Fourth Amendment. Unfortunately this was only partly true and only in regards to unreasonable searches. Thus the Supreme Court extended it to privacy by way of the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Why not use the Ninth Amendment for a right to affordable healthcare and other life sustaining needs? I know this is an unconventional and most likely controversial view. Most worthwhile ideas start out that way. I believe it is about time we started considering the Ninth Amendment more broadly to protect American citizens from the deprivation of life sustaining needs and rights. Our economic system has become an increasingly cruel and unequal system that casts its unfortunate citizens outside the system to make do for themselves. I believe it is now time to become innovative to correct these injustices. The Ninth Amendment is my prime tool to facilitate this. The neglect of this wise and ingenious amendment should end now. We need to put it to proper use to protect all of our fellow Americans.

More by this Author


Comments 40 comments

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago

I'm not a lawyer, but I think you're on the right track. We sure do need a more progressive Supreme Court.


Deni Edwards profile image

Deni Edwards 5 years ago from california

Hi, H--Once again, great hub, well thought out, and now I love the 9th Amendment--especially as it pertains to healthcare reform!

I truly enjoy reading your hubs.--Deni


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you Ralph. I agree that we need a more progressive Supreme Court to protect the American people. Corporate America, reactionary Conservatives, and many of the wealthy have run amok trying to take over this country.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I appreciate your kind comments and compliments Deni. I believe the Occupy Wall Street movement has started something in this country that hopefully will lead to more progressive and humane policies. The Ninth Amendment would be a great device to enable these changes. I love this amendment also. Thanks for commenting.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

I read most of this erudite article: It would seem the 9th amendment is the one that allows people to add rights as they see fit...after all, what people consider a right does vary from state to state (hunting for example). But I would not wish to dispute your thinking on the subject...in the UK, for example, we don't even have a written constitution, which allows judges to practically rule as they see fit...Bob Voted up


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

That was the purpose and utility of the Ninth Amendment, Diogenes. The Founders enumerated the basic 8 rights they felt strongly about at that time. They knew there would be others not mentioned and others that would develop over time. The United States developed its legal system upon the British system. After all, the Founders were originally British subjects. We can still learn much from your legal system. Thank you for your comments and up vote, Bob.


progressivist profile image

progressivist 5 years ago

Excellent article! In addition to health care, I would add food, product and drug safety and purity as essential rights. Toxic chemicals, non-nutritious foods, etc. destroy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness just as much as other ways of destroying those ends.


amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK

It's interesting to read about the good intentions of your Founding Fathers HSchneider. Here in the UK, we don't have a constitution; we're still theoretically subjects of Her Majesty the Queen, but in actuality, serfs to the corporations. However, I appreciate the work you do here.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

HS, nice to have you back. Your argument will be controversial at best. The conservatives say that for our current health program to be effective, they have to be compelled to purchase something or suffer penalty has to be overcome with just the sort of reasoning that you are presenting. You established the 'necessity" of health care as essential as food or water in the interests of life, liberty and the general welfare of the public.

But I also remembered a situation in Colorado where people were complaining about a mill levy to fund schools. Just because they did not have kids in school or attended school themselves did not excuse them from the obligation to pay. Because one time they did go to school and who paid for them? This is not a lone ranger scenario, we all bear expenses collectively as a society, health care being inevitable for 99 percent, is among those. Therefore we all, just as we pay taxes, must pitch in. Great form as always, Cred2


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I agree with you Progressivist. I highlighted healthcare because it has been so prominent in the news. It is also going before the Supreme Court this year. The other life sustaining needs you listed are also vitally important and worthy of becoming rights. Thank you for your comments.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for your comments, Amillar. You are quite correct that the UK has no Constitution. You have a long and rich history of legal precedents that have been built one upon another. Our Constitution and legal system borrow heavily from it. Unfortunately you are correct that most of us have become serfs to corporations here in the West.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for your comments and welcoming back, Cred2. I began a new job after being unemployed for quite awhile.

As a result, I have not had the time or energy to do as much writing as I would like. I agree with you that my views in this Hub will be very controversial. I welcome debates with Conservatives over this proposal. You are also correct that as a society we are all in this together. Just because we have to pay for something now that we do not utilize, does not mean we never will. We are responsible for all of our fellow citizens. That is what a society is about. Those young people who wish not to pay for health insurance now because they are healthy are making a down payment to cheaper healthcare insurance in the future. I am sick of this selfish supposedly rugged individualist society. It is a crock. One bad accident and they will come crying.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south

Excellent article. Well written, researched, and presented. Good job.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you very much for your kind comments, D.William.


MobyWho profile image

MobyWho 5 years ago from Burlington VT

Startled by what I heard in the hematologist's office the other day- Operator telling patient on phone that if the Medicare cuts are too deep, they will have to stop treating patients because they can't afford to keep the office open...not exact words, but enough to scare me. That, from the doctor's side. Keep it up, HS - we're behind you!


GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 5 years ago from USA

@HSchneider - Very well presented.

It is always a delight to read opinion pieces that are thoughtfully explained, supported and reasonably presented. As the other comments have said. Good job.

But...

Did you stop too short with this premise? Could the Founders also not have foreseen that our population growth would produce the "urbanization" and "suburbanization" of our large population centers?

The people in these communities-within-communities need healthcare too, but too frequently their only access to it is in the city centers. Urban and suburban neighborhoods don't typically have the healthcare facilities found in cities.

The point being transportation. If you propose that the 9th would encompass a right of healthcare, would it also include a right of transportation to it?

Of course, because I don't want to be forced to pay for someone else's healthcare, many will say I am so heartless as to want to deny life-saving, or even life-enhancing healthcare to someone...

But where do rights start or stop. Connecticut Rep. DeLauro has introduced a bill to have a government assistance program pay for disposable diapers because they are a "medical necessity" for healthy babies - would the next step be to include disposable diapers in healthcare coverage - thus affording them the aura of a right protected by the 9th?

I agree with you presentation and explanation of the 9th, but not your proposed interpretation of its application to healthcare.

GA


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

It is indeed a very scary situation, MobyWho. I pray it does not transpire and our leaders return to sanity and humanity. Thank you very much for your comments and support.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for your kind compliments, GA. I agree with you that my proposed application of the Ninth Amendment can be a slippery slope. I do not agree with Rep. DeLauro's proposal. I would only use the Ninth Amendment for essential life sustaining needs. Those who have to forego healthcare are much more likely to die than others. I agree that transportation can often be essential to receiving healthcare and other services but it is not life sustaining. I would never include it as a right. I believe in a single payer system that requires everyone to pay for healthcare insurance. The very poor would not because they could not afford any amount. I understand that you wish not to pay for anyone's healthcare but we do so anyway. The poor and uninsured are not turned away from emergency rooms. We pick up that cost which drives our insurance costs up anyhow. I appreciate your reasoned critique of my Hub. Too often we both on the Left and Right get attacked nastily for our views and nothing is accomplished.


GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 5 years ago from USA

@HSchneider - You are welcome.

Have you considered this possible scenario of a single-payer system.

That it becomes a healthcare system for "the rest of us", while folks with money are able to purchase better healthcare elsewhere?

1. A single-payer system will essentially put publicly owned healthcare companies out of business - the reasons are manifold - but it boils down to being unable to compete and make a profit in a government controlled services/payment environment.

So our single payer system would deteriorate to a system of meritocracy. Where will doctors/hospitals/medical science get the money to fund upgrades and innovations when the payment structure of a single-payer system will, by its nature - be comparable to what Medicare is now - paying 60 cents on the dollar for billed charges

where is the incentive for medical science investment when all results will be effectively price-controlled by the nature of a single-payer structured payment system.

have you taken a serious look at government healthcare programs in other countries? 6 month waiting list for a cancer screening test? Not to mention a black-market for medical services... afraid to wait 6 months for that cancer test? I know a doc that can do it tomorrow... for a fee.

That isn't a hypothetical, it's a documented situation in Britain now.

Not to pick on Britain, but without the impetus of profit, the money, the best, and the brightest will go elsewhere.

Leaving the altruistic and mediocre to be "our" healthcare providers.

2. So what if you have plenty of money - do you stand in line for medical care from the described single-payer system, like we will, or do you go where the premium and immediate medical care will be available... for a few dollars more.

Surely as intelligent as your writing shows you to be, you won't deny more than just the possibility, but probability, of the picture I have painted.

Not only are there present day examples of this type of system for you to look at, but beyond medical care, addressing any government controlled human services initiative, can you point to one that has proven more successful than those driven by capitalist motives, there are also historical examples - and history has not been kind in its critiques.

I heartily agree that our current healthcare/insurance system needs a major overhaul - but a single-payer system isn't the answer

Of course, that's just my opinion

GA


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

GA Anderson, I agree with you that a dual healthcare system would develop if we went to single payer. The wealthy will always seek out the best healthcare and they do it now. This is nothing new. I share your concerns that healthcare may become rationed under this new single payer system due to repayment cuts. I have heard about this in other countries. Unfortunately healthcare insurance companies limit payouts now and also decline procedures. My desire for a single payer system is twofold. Firstly, a huge amount of doctors' overhead costs come from the paperwork they must file for this vast array of insurance companies. They often need several clerks to make their way through it. Going to single payer and one uniform and simpler set of forms would cut costs immensely. Secondly, insurance companies are essentially middlemen who are seeking profits. This is natural in our capitalist system. But is it necessary? A single payer government run system will eliminate the profit takeaway further cutting healthcare costs. I am open to hearing better ideas than a single payer system. I know bureaucracies create redundancies and are inefficient. Unfortunately the current system does the same and also includes the greed of these insurance companies. Finally I would also like to have a system created that rewards results instead of simply paying for more and more procedures. It is an insane system. Those are my thoughts on your comments and I am open to hearing better ideas. I wrote a Hub on the new Healthcare Reform Bill several months ago. Of course, it is also flawed but it can be an improvement if carried out correctly. I would be interested to hear your ideas on how to improve this broken system. Maybe you should write a Hub on it because it is such a complex issue. Thank you for commenting.


MobyWho profile image

MobyWho 5 years ago from Burlington VT

Correction in my comment above...they would have to stop treating Medicare patients - not all patients.


GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 5 years ago from USA

@HSchneider - Now that's scary - as in psychic scary

I went looking for obamacare data after my comment that you just responded to - planning on writing an article

but - two things frightened me off...

1. Google is saturated with Obamacare stuff - I could never get it to rank, but more importantly - the single-payer stuff I found was dominating page 1 rankings, and it read like the devil whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

single-payer would require outlawing all private medical in order to work - they said not me

well, let's just say that in their explanation of how great it would be - all the demons the Repubs claimed were in the Obamacare details - really were there

I'm serious, not just spouting rightie talking points - it was the fact that they were praising them as the plan's saving graces instead of tolls of the deathnell that worried me.

here's the link I am referring to:

http://www.pnhp.org/facts/what-is-single-payer

Judging from your reference to administrative savings being one of the major selling points might mean you are already familiar with it.

2. The second reason I decided against it was I don't know enough about it to offer intelligent suggestions.

but now... I am reconsidering. My wife has worked in doctor's offices for 20 years - all of them dealing with front office stuff, which includes the beasts of billing and paperwork.

GA


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for the link, GA. Yes, it does confirm my comments about the administrative savings. Unfortunately the new Healthcare Reform law is somewhat a hybrid of the two and has some promise but is greatly flawed. Healthcare costs are skyrocketing because the new plan does not go largely into effect until 2014. Some parts are in effect now which increase the insurance company expenses. Each state will have to have a healthcare exchange to pool the uninsured. I believe this is a good idea. Of course we need to see if the Supreme Court upholds the law. Many feel that these exchanges may lead ultimately to single payer or a few dominant payers. This is because many companies may stop offering healthcare insurance and simply pay into this new system. Also down the road, these state exchanges could merge into regional exchanges. This is all speculation and quite murky. I hope it works out and creates a better system. This one is terribly broken and unfair. We are one of the few nations that has healthcare tied to employment. I wish all sides involved had gotten together and dropped their ideologies to create a truly efficient and productive system. Yes, that is utopian and hopeful thinking. Still that was what we needed and should have had. Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.


GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 5 years ago from USA

@HSSchneider - Well stated.Not much to disagree with.

but, although this is directed more to the advocates of a true single-payer national healthcare system...

here is the article you suggested...

it's a monster, 3400+ words...

but what else can you expect from the desk of a curmudgeon....

Obamacare: The Devil's Whispers in My Ear

http://hubpages.com/politics/Obamacare-Devils-Whis...

as always, it's a pleasure to talk with you

GA


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you GA for the link and your kind comments. I am off to work in a few minutes. I will read the link tonight or tomorrow morning and respond later when I have time to thoroughly give your article the proper time and attention. Have a great day.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

Glad you found work, HS.

Eye opening hub for me, I voted it Up, Useful, Awesome, and Interesting; I also clicked on a few Google ads for good measure. For all of my research in this area, I hadn't thought of the 9th or 10th Amendment in quite this way and your ending got me to thinking.

I am not so sure that using the 9th for the right to healthcare in today's world is so far-fetched. I would think some smart lawyer could draw on the:

9th Amendment,

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1, "The Congress shall have the Power To lay and collect Taxes to ... provide for ... the general Welfare ...",

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18, "To make all Laws which Shall be necessary and proper to carry into Execution the forgoing Powers ...",

and finally this little jewel from the Declaration of Independence, " ... are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among are these are the LIFE, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness ..."

into a rather cogent argument that the right to affordable healthcare is a basic human right. (BTW, Happiness, if I am not mistaken, refers to happiness as defined by Aristotle, a much more complex meaning than we give it today.)

As to the subject of One-payer vs some other plan, I think it is a terrible idea. I rather liked the one Alice Rivlin presented to the Super Srewed-up Committee.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I responded to your Hub on its comments section, GA. I look forward to your response. We agree that money in our political system corrupts us all. i have more faith than you that we will eventually improve it. The alternative is bankruptcy.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for your kind comments, My Esoteric. The Ninth Amendment combined with your other citations would be a powerful argument for affordable healthcare as a right. I am not wedded to single payer. I am for any cogent and efficient system that would cut costs and ensure affordable healthcare for all. The current system of receiving affordable healthcare almost exclusively through one's employer is cruel and inhumane. I am open to any system that ends this condition or allows everyone access to these healthcare pools.


cr00059n 4 years ago

HSchneider, what a wonderful article about the 9th Amendment. You've put lots of research points into this and all the key factors are tied in to make it relevant. Thanks for sharing. Plus points for you, my friend. Cool!


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you very much for your kind comments and compliments, cr00059n.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA

HSchneider, I just came across your hub and, coincidentally, having just finished reading a biography of Justice Brennan, believe I can shed a little light on his use of the 9th Amendment in the Griswold case.

A doctor, Griswold was arrested for discussing contraception with a couple of her patients, which was strictly prohibited under Connecticut law (as unbelievable as that sounds!). Her defense attorneys originally tried to use the 1st Amendment right to freedom of association (between a husband and wife).

Justice Douglas (the liberal firebrand of that court), wrote a majority opinion using that same argument. However, Harlan and White preferred to use the 14th Amendment, citing due process.

But it was Justice Brennan (the brilliant liberal coalition-builder of the court) who introduced the idea of using the enumeration clause of the 9th Amendment, focusing on a "right to privacy." This would have significant implications for later cases -- most notably Roe v. Wade. He convinced Douglas to change his reasoning and, in the process, made history.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

Very interesting, @Paladin. Conservatives will be sorely dissappointed then when the Supreme Court whips that precedent out to defeat a similar law Florida is trying to pass in the 21st Century.


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for filling in that history about Griswold and its subsequent effects, Paladin. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the Ninth Amendment is only used as a supporting reason for a decision and not the primary one.


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Which law is that, My Esoteric? I know several states are legislating against contraception and birth control.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

I don't think it is passed yet, but Florida is trying to make it illegal for a Dr to talk to a patient abortion alternatives and maybe end-of-life decisions, if memory serves.


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you My Esoteric. That case should be a no-brainer for the Supreme Court to strike down. Of course I put nothing past the reactionary conservative bloc on the court.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England

As a Brit, I appreciate the explanation here! We have no written constitution which has its advantages but also disadvantages. Of course, we do have our National Health Service which is usually pretty good - though now we're being encouraged to have personal health insurance as they say the NHS is declining. It was brought in after the war for those who could not afford any medical treatments. We contribute by monthly obligatory sums taken from our salaries at source. I can see your point; I wouldn't like to be without our NHS.

Great hub.


HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Your comparison with British law is very appropriate, Annart. Our Bill of Rights was written to ensure 8 specific rights that the writers of the Constitution considered crucial at the time. They included this Ninth one to proclaim that it should never be construed that these were the only rights American citizens have. This document has evolved over time just as British law has. Why should all people not have a right to affordable healthcare? Why not just say these people can simply die? I hope our new Affordable Healthcare law takes firm hold and changes this. I also hope your national healthcare system remains and is strengthened. People are not meant to be cast away if they get sick and are poor and unemployed. It is inhumane and selfish. Thank you for your wise comments, Annart.


Besarien profile image

Besarien 19 months ago

Your take on the 9th amendment is a breath of fresh air, which some someone is figuring out a way to monetize, I'm sure. If Clinton wins, I'm looking forward to seeing what she can do with Affordable Healthcare.


HSchneider 19 months ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

It will also be interesting to see what the Supreme Court says in regards to Affordable Healthcare this June when they rule on an obscure mis-writing of a section of the law. They could possibly throw millions of Medicaid people off these plans in states that do not accept these funds and did not set up their own exchanges. This action would seriously harm the law and I sincerely hope they do not take this action and uphold the spirit of the law. It would be heartless and inhumane not to do so. Thank you for your comments, Besarien.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working