In the 1970s a radical constitutional amendment known as the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was passed by Congress and sent to the States to be ratified. Phyllis Schlafly, a conservative activist, and her followers killed the passage of the ERA. At least, the amendment was declared dead. Now there are questions about it.
Since Democrats took over both houses of the state legislature, they have pushed several radical ideas. One of those ideas is the Equal Rights Amendment. The Virginia Senate sent the amendment and passed it to the house where it could soon pass. If Virginia passes the amendment, it would be the 38th state to ratify it. According to Thomas Jipping, Heritage Foundation legal scholar, the key question concerns the life of the amendment.
The issue is whether the 1972 ERA remains pending before the states. If ERA advocates are correct that it is, then additional states may ratify it. If the [Congressional Research Service] is correct that it is not, then additional states cannot ratify it because the 1972 ERA no longer exists.
Since Congress has authority to set the deadline and that deadline has passed, the ERA is effectively dead and anyone wanting a new ERA would have to start from the beginning. However, we have many rogue judges in our nations, and anyone of them could say that the ratification was good.
I remember the turmoil in our nation during the ratification process of the ERA and the relief when the deadline passed without the amendment being ratified. It seems that we must deal with a terrible amendment once again. Jarrett Stepman wrote about the bad merits of the amendment.
The ERA reads, in part, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
This may sound good and reasonable, but the Constitution already protects the rights of women as it does men. So why pass it?
If equality before the law is already protected by the Constitution, proponents of the amendment has other reasons for wanting the ERA. Inez Stepman wrote in the New York Post that one purpose may be to “enshrine left-wing gender dogmas into the highest law of the land.” Jarrett Stepman says that the ERA could “produce a host of negative consequences for the country” and lists four “potential outcomes.”
1. Women must sign up for the draft. Perhaps one of the clearest results of the ERA would be that it would almost be impossible to exclude women from the draft….
2. Disallow Same-Sex Bathrooms. Another potential consequence of the ERA is, depending on legal interpretation, it could make gender-segregated bathrooms illegal in public buildings….
3. End the Use of Women-Only Shelters. The ERA would put government-funded women-only institutions at risk, much the same way it would threaten unisex bathrooms…. It would be particularly problematic for facilities designed for battered women and those harmed by domestic violence….
4. Government Funding of Abortion. Potentially the most significant effect of passing the ERA is that it could potentially enshrine the “right” to taxpayer funding of abortion into the Constitution....
The ERA is proposed to protect the rights of women, but it will do more harm than good. That is the most important reason why it did not pass in the 1970s. Women were wise enough to vote against it then. Are the women of today just as wise? We may have an opportunity to see. I hope that the ERA is dead and buried!