Evening Widdershins: A New Strategy For the ERA
Posted March 8, 2011on:
Tonight, to honor International Women’s Day, United4Equality has announced this fresh approach to ratifying the ERA: an amendment to remove the time limit on the final three-state ratification.
Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today introduced legislation to remove the Congressionally-imposed deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The bill was introduced today, March 8, 2011 to coincide with Women’s History Month and the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day. The Equal Rights Amendment has been ratified by 35 of the 38 states necessary to become part of the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women equal treatment by federal and state laws.
The original amendment was introduced in 1923 in the US Congress without a time limit, by Susan B. Anthony’s nephew, as the “Lucretia Mott Amendment” after the woman who started the women’s suffrage movement. The amendment was introduced in every session of Congress until it was passed in 1972. Congress added a seven-year time limit in final passage to the proposing clause, but not to the amendment language itself. Congress then extended that limit three more years. This bill introduced today removes the time limit, allowing states to resume ratification towards 38 required minimum, similar to the lack of time limit on the amendment giving women the right to vote.
United4Equality is delighted to partner with Representative Baldwin (D-WI) and original co-sponsors Representatives Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Jackie Speiers (D-CA), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) to ensure equal application of US law to women and men.
“There should be no time limit on equality. Every right women currently have can be taken away. We should all stand equal before the law,” said Carolyn Cook, founder of United4Equality. “Thousands of laws throughout the United States still discriminate against women. This amendment will provide a blanket of protection across all 50 states against unequal laws and unequal enforcement.”
“The rights to equal pay, equal protection, and equal benefits can be taken away at any time without this amendment. Just this year, in 2011, a US Supreme Court justice wrote in a published article that the due process clause protection does not apply to women,” continued Cook. “One key result would be review of social security laws, which do not allow a homemaker to have social security accounts on their own.”
Once again, Wisconsin is leading the way. There must be something in the water. Or the cheese! In any case, many, many kudos to United4Equality and the Representatives who are co-sponsoring the amendment. I applaud this effort to remove one of the main obstacles to ratification, and hope that in the next iteration of the House, it may actually go somewhere.
This is an open thread.
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