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Charlotte, NC — “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Many of the early patriots were so wounded by the abuses of the British monarchy that they sought to stress the inherent rights of individuals in this new republic, which would be granted by God instead of the government. The vision of the Anti-Federalist founders (as opposed to the Federalists) was to create a system in which local and state governments took care of their own matters under the umbrella of a small federal government. The 9A was a compromise made by the Federalists (such as Madison) to create a more complete and wholistic Constitution that would strengthen the fledgling, young nation. Thus, the 9A was born.
The 9A prevents the federal government from violating your non-enumerated rights. For example, the constitution does not explicitly protect your right to plant a garden in your backyard. In fact, the scope of the constitution is quite narrow in matters of everyday life.
A local ordinance, however, may limit those garden-planting rights. In essence, the 9A states that your rights are not limited to those listed in the constitution (like the right to bear arms) and that all of the gray areas are up for discussion at a local level.
In today’s society, we still experience the tension of the federal government placing restrictions onto the gray areas of non-enumerated rights. For example, the constitution does not address marijuana. However, the federal (not local) government decided that it is illegal for you to grow weed on your private property for your personal use. Even worse, the possession of chemicals remotely close to marijuana are illegal. Here is an excerpt from the DEA website:
“Please note that a substance need not be listed as a controlled substance to be treated as a Schedule I substance for criminal prosecution. A controlled substance analogue is a substance which is intended for human consumption and is structurally or pharmacologically substantially similar to or is represented as being similar to a Schedule I or Schedule II substance and is not an approved medication in the United States. (See 21 U.S.C. §802(32)(A) for the definition of a controlled substance analogue and 21 U.S.C. §813 for the schedule.)”
Let us also note the constitution never created the DEA, ATF, or FDA, nor did it create the EPA, FBI, or NSA. At least we know that none of these agencies have ever violated your non-enumerated rights. Much has been said about the government’s intrusion onto rights that are enumerated, but perhaps it is time to shine a light on restrictions imposed on the non-enumerated rights.
The Bill of Rights was designed to restrict the federal government, however, the states have generally incorporated most of those restrictions as well. However, a prime example of intrusion and overreach is developing right before our eyes.
Grace Community Church in LA County, California, has faced the full force of hell via Gov. Newsome’s restrictions on church gatherings since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if you consider corporate worship as non-enumerated (as opposed to individual worship as enumerated in the 1A), nowhere in the constitution does it give state or federal governments the right to shutter churches.
Pay special attention to any news that relates to the FDA, EPA, and even the Bureau of Land Management. A vast majority of the time, the new rules and regulations produced by these agencies are nothing more than unconstitutional restrictions upon non-enumerated rights. Hold your local, state, and federal officials responsible for their overreach. The only way we can honestly call ourselves conservatives is if we hold fast to the text of the Constitution as it was written.
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