Wednesday, March 21, 2007

RECAP: Kurt Lash at Chapman

Professor Kurt Lash's discussion today on the Ninth and Tenth Amendments was highly informative. Prof. Lash is one of the nation's top scholars on constitutional interpretation, and he shared with Chapman students and professors the true nature of the oft misunderstood amendments. Most intriguing is the fact that the Ninth and Tenth are ignored as a matter of historical accident. Early cases cited them as the Eleventh and Twelfth Amendments, but as some of the articles dropped off and they were reordered, they became what we know today as the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. This led Justice Goldberg in Griswold v. Connecticut to remark that “this Court has had little occasion to interpret the Ninth Amendment." Well, that's just not true, according to Lash. Because of this error, the Court thought it was working with a blank slate, which has led to the Ninth Amendment being largely--if not completely--ignored.

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