The Ninth Amendment, once compared by Robert Bork to an “inkblot,” states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” In other words, rights — spheres of action in which the government may not interfere — are to be construed broadly.
The Tenth Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In other words, federal powers are to be construed narrowly.
These powers are enumerated in Article 1, Section 8. Congress can collect taxes, borrow money, coin money, run the post office, provide for the common defense, sign treaties, declare war, regulate interstate, foreign and Indian commerce, and not a great deal else. Congress therefore has no Constitutional warrant to enact minimum wage statutes, environmental regulations, antitrust laws, workplace safety standards and the rest of the superstructure of the welfare state that we take for granted every day. The whole business is unconstitutional. All of it. Franklin Roosevelt’s purpose in trying to pack the Supreme Court was to push the New Deal through by diluting the majority of justices that believed exactly that. Here endeth the lesson.