Re: Ninth Amendment (was Re: Spy planes was: Transhuman fascists?)

Date: Sun Apr 09 2000 - 07:40:56 MDT

In a message dated 4/4/00 1:20:42 AM Central Daylight Time,

> > I don't read the IXth ammendment this way. The text says:
> >
> > The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights,
> > shall not be construed to deny or disparage others
> > retained by the people.
> >
> > I'm no constitutional law scholar, but this just seems to say "The fact
> that
> > a subject is addressed in the Constitution doesn't mean that it
> > other rights the people may have," or alternatively, "the Constitution
> > not an exhaustive enumeration of rights."
> Since I don't see what Greg disputes in Mike's interpretation, I'm willing
> to
> go along with his paraphrasing. Now, if like some jurisprudes, Greg
> to claim the 9th does not cover *individual* rights, I'll have a bone to
> pick. Ditto if he thinks that the Founders did not have natural rights in
> mind; scholarship has quite firmly established that matter, in my opinion.

It's a fine point and I think you're right that we don't disagree about the
ultimate effect, but as a matter of simple textual construction and logic, I
don't think you can look to the IXth amendment as a SOURCE of rights. I
think the most we can say is 1) that it's not inconsistent with rights that
arise from or have their legal authority in some other source and 2) that
from this we can safely imply that the Founders believed that there were such
other sources of human rights. The little education I have in constitutional
historical scholarship does bear out that the Founders shared an almost
universal belief in "natural rights". Their thinking about the source of
natural rights was somewhat diverse, though; some finding the basis for them
in religious ideas, others in a kind of fictitious anthropology derived from
Locke. Thus the textual ambiguity regarding "supra-constitutional rights"
was good drafting on the part of the Founders, sincce it left that issue
open. Ironically, the basis of a concept of "natural rights" that many
extropians would likely find compelling, the work of Adam Smith, was just
coming to the attention of the world at that time, and so wasn't a mature
intellectual system yet from which the Founders could have derived a more
rigorous secular theory of natural rights.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:09:10 MDT