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9th Amendment Meaning: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 What is the 9th Amendment?
  • 0:56 What Does the 9th…
  • 2:02 9th Amendment History
  • 2:49 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Anna Reinking

Anni taught elementary school for eight years and is currently teaching college. She received her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.

The 9th Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights. It was added as a way to help U.S. citizens understand that the government would not take away their rights. In this lesson, the meaning, history, and current uses of the 9th Amendment are discussed.

What Is the 9th Amendment?

What do you believe you have the right to do living in the United States? Do you have the right to watch TV? Do you have the right to eat candy whenever you want? Do you have the right to swim in clean pools? These things, as well as other rights you feel like you should have, could be supported by the 9th Amendment.

The 9th Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution as part of the Bill of Rights and was written by James Madison, the 4th President of the United States. It was voted on and passed in 1791.

James Madison wrote the 9th Amendment.
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However, when reading the 9th Amendment, a person can get very confused. It uses big words such as 'enumeration' and 'construed.' In this lesson, we will learn about the meaning of the 9th Amendment as well as the history of why it came to be and how it is used today.

What Does the 9th Amendment Mean?

The exact wording of the 9th Amendment is: ''The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.''

What? If you break the amendment apart, it is basically saying that the rights listed in the U.S. Constitution should not be used to take other rights away from people. Specifically, enumeration means the numbered items in a list, and construed means to interpret in a specific way, usually to favor your view.

So, let's think about one question that was asked at the beginning of this lesson: Do you have the right to watch TV? Well, when the Bill of Rights was written, there was no such thing as TV, so that right was not listed in the U.S. Constitution. However, in the United States we do have the right to watch TV today.

The 9th Amendment is basically saying that just because TV watching, or some other right, was not listed in the U.S. Constitution does not mean the government can take that right away.

The Beginning of the U.S. Constitution
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