The First Freedoms
The Privacy Amendments
The 5th Amendment
The 6th Amendment
Civil Trials
The Interpretive Rules

9th Amendment

Enumerated Powers as a Protection of Rights

The United States Constitution found a third way to protect individual rights: constructing the government in such a way to limit its authority—granting it only certain “enumerated powers.” For some defenders of the Constitution, this third way of protecting rights was even more important than the other two more traditional ways. Many people believed that the new federal government would be so large and distant that its representatives would in many ways resemble the bad old days when the British Parliament had attempted to rule over America’s colonies and had run roughshod over their rights. To prevent this from happening, the government’s powers would have to be strictly limited to national objects; it must not possess the sorts of powers (especially local police powers) that can infringe on individual rights.