The last two amendments were included to help keep a proper balance of rights and power among the federal government, the people, and the states.
Ninth Amendment: Rights Retained by the People One argument raised against putting a bill of rights in the Constitution was that no such list could be complete. If some rights were listed and others were not, did this mean that people had only the listed rights?
The Ninth Amendment provides the answer. It says that even though “certain rights” are listed in the Constitution, other rights and liberties not listed there are also “retained [kept] by the people.” The rights protected under the Constitution are not the only rights people have. An example of this is the right to privacy.
Tenth Amendment: Powers Reserved to the States The Tenth Amendment was included to protect the states from excessive federal power. It says that powers not given to the national government by the Constitution are “reserved to the states . . . or to the people.”
This amendment is known as the reserved powers clause. Reserved powers are those that the Constitution does not specifically give to the national government or specifically prohibit the states from having.
So what are reserved powers? The examples are numerous, and they affect many areas of everyday life. States use their reserved powers to pass laws regulating speed limits for drivers. Reserved powers allow the states to determine how many days students attend public schools. States have the power to run elections, to regulate businesses inside their borders, and to set up local governments. Do you get your hair cut in a salon or barber shop? Do you visit the doctor when you are sick? The Tenth Amendment gives your state the power to issue business licenses to hair salons and the power to make sure your doctor is licensed to practice medicine in your state.