Posts Tagged ‘ ERA ’

The Equal Rights Amendment and the drive for ratification, explained – Vox

Jessica Lenahan, center, a domestic violence survivor, and Carol Jenkins, right, of the Equal Rights Amendment Task Force, at a Washington, DC, news conference on the Equal Rights Amendment on June 6, 2018.Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Virginia has voted to ratify the amendment. Here’s what that means for the country.

Source: The Equal Rights Amendment and the drive for ratification, explained – Vox

Virginia Approves the E.R.A., Becoming the 38th State to Back It – The New York Times


“Yet many roadblocks remain.

This month, the Justice Department released an opinionconcluding that Virginia’s efforts to ratify the E.R.A. had come too late, given the 1982 deadline, and that the entire legislative approval process must be restarted for a proposed amendment to be legally binding. That conclusion however, is only advisory, and the matter is expected to ultimately be decided by federal courts.

Further complicating the matter, five states have over the years rescinded their approvals of the E.R.A. The significance of those decisions, though, was also murky; in some past situations, when states sought to annul legislative votes in support of constitutional amendments, initial approvals were counted anyway, including for the 14th and 15th amendments.

Typically, constitutional amendments do not have ratification deadlines. One amendment, the 27th Amendment, was ratified in 1992 — more than two centuries after Congress passed it. Democrats in the House of Representatives and the Senate have introduced legislation to extend the deadline tied to the E.R.A., although it is unclear whether passage would make it legally enforceable.

Eileen Davis, 65, the founder of Women-Matter, a feminist group, and an advocate for passage of the E.R.A., said she found out in about 2010 that Virginia had never passed the measure, and decided to go to Richmond to alert legislators. . . .


But in November [2019], Democrats won control of both chambers of the State Legislature for the first time in 25 years and decided that passage of the E.R.A. would be one of their primary objectives.

Opponents of the E.R.A. said they feared it would upend gender norms, ushering in an age in which women would be subject to the military draft and boys and girls would share locker rooms, bathrooms and sports fields. They also said they had concerns about the effects the amendment might have on abortion restrictions.

“Laws protecting women’s interests will be undercut by the radical language of the E.R.A. that strips away from women their unique place in the law,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, an anti-abortion group that opposes the E.R.A. Ms. Hawkins added that “the most profound change will be creating a constitutional foothold for abortion.”

But Ms. Davis said her efforts were not designed to safeguard legal abortion rights. She said she simply wanted equality for women.

“One of the things I’d tell legislators is that someone’s going to make a movie about this, and I don’t think you want to have to explain to your granddaughter why you didn’t support equality for women,” she said.