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Justice Black and Plain Words Textualism

Ninth Amendment says that there are other rights, in addition to those enumerated in the Constitution, that pertain to the people.
A textualist interpretation of the Amendment leads to define that it is not possible to limit to the plain words of the Constitution to understand all the rights recognized to the people.
In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court held that a right to privacy was implicit in the “penumbras” of the First, Third, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and Ninth Amendment was invoked to justify such extension. However, Black dissented because right to privacy was not mentioned in the Constitution, asserting that it is “undemocratic” for unelected judges to invent rights against majoritarian government beyond those rights specified in the text. Unwritten constitutional rights are the mere inventions of judges and do not pertain to a democratic country. Ninth Amendment, therefore, must be disregarded or construed into insignificance.
However, even “democracy” does not appear in the Constitution. Black’s argument is philosophic-political in essence, since it prefers to apply a particular conception of democracy instead of the plain words of the Ninth Amendment.
di Luca Porcella
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