Publication Date



47 p. ; This student paper was awarded the 2004-2005 Law Alumni/ae Associate Prize.


Professor Gregory Allen in Ninth Amendment and State Constitutional Rights suggested a hypothetical conflict that could arise between state and federal courts when a state constitution provides for greater protection against governmental abuse of power than the federal constitution. One possible safeguard of autonomy for those states choosing to grant their citizens greater state law protections than the federal government is the Ninth Amendment. The Ninth Amendment protects unenumerated rights' that are retained by the people of the states. In theory, applying the Ninth Amendment would essentially federalize state law protections contained in state constitutions and guard that state from federal encroachment. The purpose of this paper is not to introduce the idea of what effect, if any, the Ninth Amendment should be given, a topic that has been extensively discussed. Rather, this paper will examine Professor Calvin R. Massey's proposal for recognizing Ninth Amendment Rights, as well as explore some of the implications of adopting his three-part test. It is my hope that examining these effects will aid a federal court system contemplating whether to elevate the Ninth Amendment as an enforceable federal doctrine amid genuine doctrinal concerns against such an application.'


University of New Mexico School of Law

Document Type

Student Paper



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