Amendment IX

Document 9

Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution 3:§ 1898


§ 1898. The next amendment is: "The enumeration in the constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny, or disparage others retained by the people." This clause was manifestly introduced to prevent any perverse, or ingenious misapplication of the well known maxim, that an affirmation in particular cases implies a negation in all others; and é converso, that a negation in particular cases implies an affirmation in all others. The maxim, rightly understood, is perfectly sound and safe; but it has often been strangely forced from its natural meaning into the support of the most dangerous political heresies. The amendment was undoubtedly suggested by the reasoning of the Federalist on the subject of a general bill of rights.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 5, Amendment IX, Document 9
The University of Chicago Press

Story, Joseph. Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. 3 vols. Boston, 1833.

Easy to print version.