Date Presented

Spring 3-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Lorna Dawson

Second Advisor

Dr. Timothy Meinke

Third Advisor

Dr. Katherine Gray


The aim of my research was to determine, through an original intent approach to the United States Constitution, whether the asserted “fundamental” rights associated with the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment were reflective of the Framers’ intentions for the rights protected by the Ninth Amendment, or if the Supreme Court has been illegitimately engaging in substantive due process. Through a case study using qualitative document analysis on the right to privacy, the right to abortion, the right to sodomy, and the right to marry, I concluded that there are no rights protected by the Ninth Amendment because it was intended to be a rule of construction for the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Additionally, when subjected to a legitimacy test, the rights to privacy, abortion, and sodomy were all illegitimately asserted using substantive due process. Only the right to marry was legitimately asserted using substantive due process. Furthermore, the analysis resulted in the serious consideration of a living Constitution approach in order to afford the Court more legitimacy.