Revolution Number IX
Well, I always tell my cocktail acquaintances that my fav is without a doubt Number Nine. And the reaction is always the same. What, is that the one that gave women the right to vote?
It turns out that the Ninth Amendment is "none of the above". That's right, it is the amendment that protects all the rights that aren't covered anywhere else.
Back when the Constitution was being written, there were some folks who argued against having a Bill of Rights at all. They were concerned that if you listed a specific set of rights the government would just assume the right to everything not on the list. So James Madison came up with this clever idea, which was enshrined near the bottom of the list:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.In other words, just because something wasn't explicitly listed as a right it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. For example, the right to privacy is not listed explicitly anywhere in the Constitution, although it is certainly hinted at in the First, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments. The Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy is indeed protected.
So, thanks to James Madison and the other Federalists for putting an escape clause in there to protect the rights that are "basic and fundamental and so deep–rooted in our society" that they didn't think they would need to spell them out.