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The Lost History of the Ninth Amendment Hardcover – March 27, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0195372618 ISBN-10: 0195372611

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 394 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195372611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195372618
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.3 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,579,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Kurt Lash has made a major contribution to the historical debate over the meaning of the Ninth Amendment. Everyone interested in this crucial and ongoing debate should read this book."
--Michael Kent Curtis,
Wake Forest School of Law

"Kurt Lash's book explores the unexamined and overlooked dimensions to how the Ninth Amendment found its way into the Federal Constitution and, arguably, had a 'life' long before its 'discovery' by the modern Supreme Court in the 1960's. He also recognizes the collective aspect of rights, which is frequently overlooked in the traditional focus of individual rights. The argument hinging on the interpretation and understanding of the Constitution alone is quite complicated, but Professor Lash presents a clear argument with solid research that helps stimulates a re-thinking of the conventional treatment of the Ninth Amendment."
--Christian G. Fritz,
University of New Mexico School of Law

"The Lost History of the Ninth Amendment is magnificent. The Ninth is at the center of important debates about constitutional method and substance. Lash's work on this enigmatic provision has already provoked an explosion of new scholarship - for good reasons. Lash has done something rare and extraordinary - uncovering genuinely new historical evidence about the origins and early interpretation of the Ninth. Lash also has a powerful and original theory of the Ninth's purpose - emphasizing the political powers of 'We the People' and rediscovering the amendment as a lynchpin of popular sovereignty. Lash's book will be debated for years to come."
--Lawrence Solum,
University of Illinois College of Law

About the Author

Kurt Lash holds the James P. Bradley Chair in Constitutional Law at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. After graduating from Yale Law School, Professor Lash served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert R. Beezer of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Lash has published numerous journal articles on constitutional history and he has served as the Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Constitutional Law.

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kevin J. Brogan on September 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Dr Lash has evidenced significant scholarship in this monumental work. One can only hope the efforts he extended will find there way into the larger political consciousness where his research concerning the Ninth Amendment belongs. His valid assertion that the Ninth Amendment is a guide to interpreting the national powers is thoroughly convincing, and historically accurate.His examination of the Ratifying Conventions of the Constitution, the vigorous diligence of Madison in ushering the Bill of Rights through a reticent Congress, and the issues of Ratifying the Bill of Rights, brings his thesis beyond probable to the realm of historical fact. The work provides beyond the realm of Constitutional Interpretation a concomitant starting point for a deeper historical comprehension of Madison's reactions to Hamilton's Bank Bill. Considering the evidence and chronology Dr Lash presented doubts about Madison's motives concerning the necessary and proper clause can be viewed in new lights.
The Preamble to the Bill of Rights includes the following explanation:
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

The idea of preventing misconstruction or an inaccurate explanation or interpretation, in the very document that was forwarded to the States with the Bill of Rights reinforces the concepts Dr lash advances. The Ninth Amendment's own words 'shall not be construed' points again to Dr Lash peremptory claim the Ninth is a guard against errant interpretation.
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The Lost History of the Ninth Amendment
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