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Slouching Toward Bethlehem with the Ninth Amendment

11 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2011 Last revised: 30 Dec 2014

William W. Van Alstyne

Duke University School of Law; William & Mary Law School

Date Written: 1981


This review discusses Charles Black’s work “Decision According to Law”, which examines the tendency and the means used by activist judges to provide fair decisions through the use of more flexible principles of Constitutional law. While Black’s writing style is both informative and powerful, his original thesis regarding the Ninth Amendment acting as Congressional endorsement of the courts’ activist role is uncompelling and poorly supported.

Keywords: Ninth Amendment, Activist Judge, Book Review

Suggested Citation

Van Alstyne, William W., Slouching Toward Bethlehem with the Ninth Amendment (1981). Yale Law Journal, Vol. 91, p. 207, 1981; William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-158. Available at SSRN:

William W. Van Alstyne (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

William & Mary Law School ( email )

South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

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