Constitution Countdown: Ninth Amendment

Photo by Andre Rowlett.

Constitution Day, September 17, is the anniversary of the day in 1787 when the United States Constitution was signed. Though the Bill of Rights was not ratified until 1791, Sidelines will be breaking down one of the first ten amendments each day between now and September 17.

The Amendment:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The Meaning:

The ninth amendment is important to the Bill of Rights because it pretty much verifies the other ten amendments. This amendment protects other amendments by disallowing anything previously written in the constitution from inhibiting the amendments made to it as time goes on.

The Effect:

By adding the ninth amendment, all other amendments written after or during the Bill of Rights are considered valid and the most relevant rules of the constitution. In other words, the original constitution was a rough draft of sorts, but by adding the ninth amendment, the American Government is allowed to make revisions to the original as they see fit.

In this way, the U.S. Constitution is still a binding contract of the American people, but one that can evolve with the country as ideas and social standards of the people demand alterations of the original document. So, without the ninth amendment, the eight prior and eighteen later amendments are pretty much null.

For more Constitution Countdown, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @MTSUSidelines.

To contact news editor Sarah Grace Taylor, email

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