Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965) (USSC+)

Russell Turpin
Wed, 05 Mar 2003 21:34:03 +0000

John Hall:
>[The 9th amendment] says the reserved rights belong to the States and the 

I think you've made a hash of the 9th and the 10th.
The 9th says that RIGHTS not enumerated are retained
by the people. It makes no mention of the states.

The 10th says that POWERS not delegated by the
Constitution to the federal government are reserved
to the states or the people. So, for example, the
federal government has no business defining common
crimes such as murder or theft, except on federal
property, or in connection with other federal
issues. As this example makes clear, it's easy to
imagine where the 10th amendment would apply, even
today after broad interpretation of the commerce
clause. I keep hoping the 10th will be made the
critical issue in a future suit against the Justice
Department which, under Ashcroft, seems hell-bent on
stifling the legitimate lawmaking powers of Oregon
and California. In my opinion, Ashcroft is due for
yet another Supreme Court smackdown.

But I asked about the 9th. It seems to me, still,
that you're taking the position that it is window
dressing, with no operative content. If I interpret
you wrongly, then please tell the example where you
would have it apply.

>.. not that the SC should judge what they are or who got what.


The Constitution is meaningless if there is no
effective mechanism for its interpretation. There
are plenty of examples of states with constitutions
that read like documents of liberal enlightenment,
but which governments are practical tyranny. An
independent judiciary has played a critical role in
keeping the US Constitution alive and meaningful.
This is so fundamental to our history that arguing
against Marbury is to call for an entirely different
kind of polity.

>An early SC decision in the 19th C stated explicitly that a State could 
>re-enact the Inquisition if it so chose without violating the 1st.

Indeed. All US citizens should be thankful for the
14th amendment and its incorporation of the civil
rights. Especially those who live in Utah.

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