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The second volume of a two volume set, "The Rights Retained by the People," edited by Georgetown University Law Center Professor Randy Barnett, is a compilation of essays and law review articles on the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The text of the Ninth Amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people," is simple enough. The meaning, interpretation, and application of the Ninth Amendment, especially through the act of judicial interpretation, is a much more complicated matter. The articles in this volume adddress this complexity.
Until the Griswold decision in 1965, the Ninth Amendment had not been formally invoked as the basis for a Supreme Court decision. Today, particularly in the legal academic community, the Ninth Amendment has become a focal point for judicial activism.
Articles are included from all perspectives of the political spectrum. For a layperson interested in constitutional issues, this two-volume set is an excellent source for an ideologically wide-ranging introduction to the modern approach to constitutional interpretation. The articles include historical discussion, as well as legal discussion, and provide an excellent basis for the consideration of whether judicial restraint or judicial activism is the appropriate means of consitutional interpretation.
Professor Barnett has recently published an excellent book, "Restoring the Lost Constitution," which continues the discussion primarily from a libertarian perspective.
I loved the first volume and this one is just as good although I'm not through with it yet. Fantastic, passionate arguments from all sides, all aspects, from people at the top of their game. A few essays are directly challenged with rebuttal given. An excellent way to learn all about such an interesting subject. A great book to challenge your point of view no matter what that is.