UPDATE 2: U.S. House Ignores Constitution to Vote for ERA!
UPDATE: Deadline 9:45 AM CST 2/13/20 Ask your Rep to vote NO on ERA!
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
More Details from Eagle Forum at the end of this Post!
At the request from singularzoe I am reposting some content from yesterday’s Daily Thread:
This is extremely important. Thank you for posting it, and may I suggest you post it again tomorrow early in the day on the daily thread in case some do not see it this evening? Many do not realize how dangerous the ERA is. Some are too young to know its history or the hidden agenda behind it.
Many washed up 1970s feminists have been dreaming of an epic “do-over” on the Equal Rights Amendment. Astute QTree observers during the 2019 State of the Union noticed that the ERA pin had been revived in the attire of the Democrat women present. This is despite the ERA being as dead as a door nail.
What is the ERA? The following is from Wikipedia, with my minor edits:
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. It seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in matters of divorce, property, employment, and other matters.
It sounds so beautiful, so wonderful, who could be opposed to such a thing?
Phyllis Schlafly, of course! She saw through the ruse that in fact this would destroy many of the privileges and rights that women enjoyed, and wreck havoc on families. Through her tireless efforts, the amendment was successfully defeated in 1982 when the deadline for states to ratify passed three votes short.
Yes, the ERA is dead.
However, leftists are never ones to be bothered by little things like “rules” and have asserted that they can simple revise the deadline in the legislation and voilà, like magic, the amendment is ratified!
Given the radicals behind the “Green New Deal” and the “Blue New Deal” (radical immigration reform) are also pursuing the “ERA New Deal” it is worth reviewing the history and where things stand, not to mention what the future goals of the left are in a revived ERA.
In short, the goal of the revived ERA is to prevent Roe vs. Wade from being overturned in the courts by (presumably) enshrining it in a constitutional amendment.
To quote Sylvia: Evil never sleeps it is simply relentless.
No wonder she keeps a shovel beside her bed.
AFA Sounding the Alarm on the ERA
Tell Congress to vote NO on Equal Rights Amendment resolution
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote tomorrow on a resolution, H.J.Res.79, to remove the June 30, 1982 deadline for state legislatures to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Obviously, the deadline has expired, but this isn’t preventing members of Congress, primarily Democrats, from attempting to remove the deadline and advance pro-abortion and pro-transgender rights enshrined in the ERA.
Pro-abortion activist group NARAL Pro-Choice America supports the ERA resolution stating, “With its ratification, the ERA would reinforce the constitutional right to abortion by clarifying that the sexes have equal rights, which would require judges to strike down anti-abortion laws because they violate both the constitutional right to privacy and sexual equality.”
Contact and urge your member of Congress to vote no on the ERA resolution.
The ERA was a proposed constitutional amendment introduced and passed by the House (1971) and the Senate (1972). Originally, the ERA would have to be ratified by 38 state legislatures prior to the original deadline of March 22, 1979. But proponents of the ERA realized it would not be ratified by the necessary 38 state legislatures by that deadline.
Therefore, pro-ERA advocates pressured Congress in 1978 to extend the ratification deadline to June 30, 1982. Now, the House is wanting to pass H.J.Res.79 to extend the deadline, again.
If the House passes the resolution, it will face a near certain death in the Senate. That’s not the only hurdle congressional Democrats are facing in their attempt to remove the current 1982 deadline. First, there’s the legal challenge. The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel issued the following opinion on January 6, 2020:
The ERA Resolution has expired and is no longer pending before the States. Even if one or more state legislatures were to ratify the 1972 proposal, that action would not complete the ratification of the amendment, and the ERA’s adoption could not be certified under 1 U.S.C. § 106b. In addition, we conclude that when Congress uses a proposing clause to impose a deadline on the States’ ratification of a proposed constitutional amendment, that deadline is binding and Congress may not revive the proposal after the deadline’s expiration.
The other challenge would be in the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal on the court and a supporter of the ERA, recently indicated the clock has run out on ratifying the ERA. In reference to the state of Virginia’s recent vote to ratify the ERA, Ginsburg said, “I would like to see a new beginning. I’d like it to start over. There’s too much controversy about late comers.” She then referred to Virginia’s move coming “long after the deadline passed.” Justice Ginsburg’s comments follow and bolster the DOJ opinion against changing the ERA deadline.
Regardless of the hurdles the ERA will face, it’s important you contact and urge your representative to vote against removing the deadline for ratifying the ERA.
Rob Chambers, Vice-President
Warnings by the Susan B. Anthony List
Pro-abortion members of Congress are trying yet again to massively expand abortion access and make YOU pay for it.
This time, they’re using the Equal Rights Amendment to do so. “Equal rights” sounds nice, right? Well, it’s anything but…
Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the ACLU, to name just a few, want the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) passed because they say it would guarantee a right to abortion, funded by YOU — the taxpayers.
In fact, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the state’s ERA requires taxpayer funding of abortion! We must STOP this madness to protect the lives of unborn babies across America.
When Congress was debating the amendment when it was proposed back in the 1970s, pro-abortion members of Congress rejected efforts to make the amendment abortion-neutral.
If you think it’s strange that we’re talking about an amendment that Congress considered in the 70’s, you’re not alone.
Over four decades ago, Congress passed the ERA and sent it to the states for ratification. But not enough states ratified the ERA, the deadline passed, and the amendment died.
Even the Department of Justice issued a memo on the ERA, saying that it is in fact dead, and cannot be ratified retroactively.
But today, pro-abortion politicians have decided to pretend the amendment never died.
Three more states voted to ratify the expired ERA, and pro-abortion members of Congress are pushing forward with a vote in the House on a resolution erasing the deadline that expired four decades ago!
Since Roe v. Wade, abortion has been the cause of death for an estimated 60 MILLION unborn children, of which approximately 30 MILLION were unborn little girls.
An amendment to create a constitutional right to abortion on demand would lead to the deaths of untold millions more, paid for by American taxpayers.
This is NOT equality.
Not only is this process completely illegitimate, but the ERA would also install a sweeping legal mandate for abortion on demand, funded with taxpayer dollars, into the Constitution of the United States.
So please, tell your representative to vote NO on H.J.Res. 79 to stop the ERA from ever becoming law.
Hon. Marilyn Musgrave
Vice President of Government Affairs
Susan B. Anthony List
Deplorable Patriot is the News Now!
Deplorable Patriot posted the following piece immediately following the 2019 State of the Union. I’m only going to quote part of it, and like all other QTree posts is rich with insightful comments.
Mrs. Schlafly’s primary concern in opposing the ERA was not to stop women from being who and what they were meant to be, she did go back to school to get a law degree after all, but to protect the American family. At the beginning of her fight in the early 1970s, Mrs. Schlafly predicted that with the passage and ratification of the ERA, several social changes would occur that would be detrimental to the future of the nation.
Why “STOP ERA”? Phyllis Schlafly traveled across the U.S. throughout the 1970s calling for opposition to the ERA because it would lead to the following, most of which pro-ERA lawyers argued were not actually real threats from the ERA:
- Homosexual marriages: traditional gender roles were, Schlafly argued, essential for preserving the family.
- Women in combat: women, Schlafly argued, would weaken the military’s combat strength, and serving in the military would violate traditional gender norms.
- Taxpayer-funded abortions: Schlafly, a … Catholic, ardently opposed abortion.
- Unisex bathrooms: one of the best-known of the arguments Schlafly promoted, this was likely meant to create fear of losing a safe space. Schlafly argued that the ERA would also remove laws that depended on gender to define a sex crime, and that it would weaken laws about rape.
- Elimination of Social Security benefits for widows: she believed women should not be in the paid workforce (though she herself was paid a salary) especially if they had young children, and so a Social Security benefit for women who had not earned their own benefits was essential to the mother’s ability to stay home.
- Hurt families: She argued that the ERA would abolish a husband’s legal responsibility to support his wife and family, and making child support, that it would alter child support and alimony laws to make them gender neutral. In general, she argued that it would undermine the authority of men over women, which she saw as the proper power relationship for well-functioning families.
Many of these claims about what the ERA would do are disputed by legal scholars. On the other hand, some of these results evolved after the 1970s to become public policy, accepted by a majority of the electorate.
The Eagle Forum and so-called states’ rights groups warn that the ERA would transfer a great deal of power from state to federal governments.
Amazing isn’t it, that many of her predictions came true whether the ERA passed or not.
All these years later, Mrs. Schlafly’s ability to think logically down stream, as it were, and sound the alarm on so many issues that the people of the United States have been fighting in recent years did inspire Bloomberg, at least, to admit she was correct.
So if she was correct, and the ERA would have been a disaster for American women frankly by putting us on the same legal footing as men (can be drafted into the military, etc.), and it was defeated by the deadline imposed by Congress in 1982, why were the women in white pushing support for the long ago departed?
Basically, because they don’t believe it is dead.
Ahh, but the ERA is dead, Democrats.
By RITA DUNAWAY Published on January 17, 2020
“I am prepared to do everything I can to make sure the will of Virginians is carried out and women’s equality is enshrined in the Constitution.”
— Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, upon the Virginia General Assembly’s passage of a resolution purporting to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, January 15, 2020.
Politics today is not much different than entertainment. So much of what happens at all levels of government is about pleasing special interest groups, making constituencies feel good, or making rivals look bad. Sometimes, as with a resolution commending a winning sports team, this is harmless. But other times, the “show” costs dearly in terms of time, money and civic understanding.
The ERA has cost valuable time in the state legislatures that purport to have “ratified” it in recent years.
The current hubbub about the Equal Rights Amendment is a good example of political grandstanding that exacts a high price on our Republic. It has cost valuable time in the state legislatures that purport to have “ratified” it in recent years. It will cost precious funds in pointless lawsuits. But perhaps the greatest cost of all is what it detracts from people’s understanding of a valuable constitutional process.
Article V — the Constitutional Amendment Process
Article V of the U.S. Constitution is one of our founding document’s lesser-known provisions — and one of its most important. It outlines the process for amending the Constitution.
Article V prescribes two ways in which amendments can be proposed. Congress can propose them when two-thirds of the House and the Senate agree. Amendments may also be proposed at a convention upon application of two-thirds of the states. Regardless of which body proposes an amendment, it must be ratified by three-fourths of the states (38) before it can be added to the Constitution.
Unfortunately, much confusion surrounds the second option for proposing amendments. The “convention of the states” process was familiar to the founders, but has fallen out of use in modern times. This lack of modern experience, combined with the lack of procedural detail in the text of Article V, has led a number of otherwise smart people to conclude that we have no idea how a convention for proposing amendments would operate.
That suggestion is nonsense. We know all the important aspects of convention process from the wealth of historical precedents and founding-era writings.
When it comes to the more familiar process of Congress proposing amendments, citizens who might like to understand are now stymied by activists who refuse to concede points of law that are well-established.
Those well-established principles include the following (among many others):
- Congress may set a deadline for states to ratify a proposed amendment.
- Once Congress sets such a deadline, it is binding. Congress may not change the deadline in the middle of the process.
- States may rescind their ratification of a proposed amendment up until ratification is actually achieved.
Each of these points has been decided by the courts. Each is relevant to the current effort to add an “Equal Rights Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution.
The Life and Death of the Equal Rights Amendment
Congress proposed the ERA in 1972. It set a 7-year deadline for the necessary 38 states to ratify it. When Congress saw that the deadline would not be met, it tried to extend the deadline to 1982. A federal court ruled that this was illegal — that Congress is not permitted to change the ratification process once it has begun.
No court has ever ruled otherwise. Simply put, there is no serious grounds for suggesting that the beleaguered ERA is anything but dead as a doornail.
But wait! There’s more! Even supposing that the states or Congress could ignore the original deadline, the ERA would still not be ratified. Why? Because a handful of states that initially ratified it later rescinded their ratifications.
Thus, as Article V expert Professor Rob Natelson describes it, the ERA campaign would have us believe “That every ratification counts, no matter how late; but that no state rescission counts, no matter how timely.” Sorry, but this doesn’t pass the straight face test.
ERA advocates can hold their press conferences, dance their victory dances and tie up the courts in frivolous lawsuits, but the ERA is dead. I, for one, am not sorry. The proposal is both unnecessary and poorly-drafted.
While politicians and special interests continue to beat their long-dead horse, I can only hope that their efforts will result in a new conversation about Article V. Let’s talk about amendments that we really do need in America today, and how we might actually obtain them.
ERA Ratification Status
As a quick aside, I want to highlight the status of the ERA ratification.
Note the color scheme:
Green: Ratified in one house of legislature (Only PARTIAL ratification)
Blue: Not Ratified
This causes the map to be, well, confusing – and maybe that was the POINT…
Nevertheless, the BLUE on GREEN states have never ratified the ERA.
And importantly, the ORANGE STATES BAD have RESCINDED their ratification. It’s hard to have a movement to ratify a constitutional amendment when losing ground… so naturally, the ad hoc lawfare solution is to deny that states have the right to rescind their vote. Does that mean that the constitutional amendment ending Prohibition is likewise invalid? Hmm.
There is precedent for repealing an amendment, and the notion that a state could not rescind a ratification is on incredibly thin legal ice.
Not that legal protocol matters to leftists. If they get full control of the courts they’ll do whatever they want regardless – lawlessness.
States that have not ratified the amendment:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Despite a vigorous effort by women’s rights advocates, a push to pass the ERA in Virginia died in the state legislature in February . Similar efforts also failed [in 2018] in Arizona and Florida.
The following is a September 9, 2016 article on Phyllis Schlafly – my comments in RED. Phyllis was the public face of the movement to stop the passage of the ERA. Frankly, without her effort it likely would have been fully ratified. It is impossible to overstate her contributions. The article below outlines the history and how Phyllis Schlafly took on one of the most powerful political juggernauts in American history almost single-handedly, created a giant political movement, and won.
Does this sound like someone we know?
To put this in chronological perspective, Phyllis Schlafly passed away during the 2016 election season, at the time when Operation Crossfire Hurricane was moving at top speed again Candidate Donald Trump. A time when literally all the heaviest forces of government were being abused to prevent Donald Trump from becoming President of the United States. And he still won.
How Phyllis Schlafly profoundly changed America
She created the modern pro-family movement and was its greatest activist
Her book changed the Republican party
What most pro-family conservatives today probably don’t know
September 9 2016
Phyllis Schlafly, who passed away at age 92 this week [Sep 2016], actually created the pro-family movement. She was the greatest and most successful pro-family activist in its history. That is not hyperbole; it is fact. Everyone else is miles behind. …
Unfortunately, most pro-family conservatives under a certain age really don’t know that much about her, or appreciate the enormity of her contributions, which continued up until her death. In our opinion, the numerous obituaries in the conservative and mainstream media about her haven’t done her justice.
A revolution within the GOP
She broke into national prominence in 1964 by publishing a book. Titled “A Choice, Not an Echo” It brilliantly described how for decades the GOP establishment and donor class had been selling out the principles held by average Republican voters and controlling the political process. It’s chilling to realize how similar it was to the situation that has fueled the rise of Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016. She saw the problem clearly back in the 60s.
At first she felt no publisher would take the book, so she sold it out of her garage. It really caught on, eventually selling over 3 million copies. It changed the history of the Republican Party.
“A Choice Not an Echo” is credited by many with igniting much of the Republican voter base and propelling Barry Goldwater’s nomination for president in 1964 over the will of the party establishment, and opening the door for Ronald Reagan’s run. Her book was that powerful.
Stopping the radical ERA from transforming America
But Phyllis (everyone we know called her by her first name) is best known for her work stopping the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Today, many pro-family activists take on big causes. But no one else ever took on anything like the ERA single-handedly and won.
Constitutional amendments must pass two-thirds of both houses of Congress, and then three-quarters of the state legislatures (38 states) within seven years after that.
The Equal Rights Amendment was considered by everyone to be impossible to stop. In 1971 it blew through the US House of Representatives by 354-24. It then passed the Senate by 84-8. In 1972 was sent to the states for ratification. Within the first year, 30 state legislatures had ratified it. It was on a very fast track to become a Constitutional amendment.
Phyllis could see that the ERA was being sold to Americans as a noble “equal rights” cause, but it was really a Trojan horse being pushed by the most radical elements of society, particularly lesbian activists.
In her correct analysis, the ERA would be used to draft women for the military, force taxpayer-funded abortions and homosexual “marriage”, promote a constitutionally mandated breakdown of Judeo-Christian morality, push a new sexual revolution, re-write divorce laws, and much more. Far from helping women, it would make women’s lives much, much worse.
Women are different from men, she said, and “feminism” is a false ideology that tries to make man and women the same.
Straight talk. A key part of her attack was that unlike the wimpy mainstream pro-family movement of today, Phyllis was willing to tell the sordid, uncomfortable truth about the ERA and forces behind it – calmly, unemotionally, and fearlessly – refusing to water it down into mushy platitudes. This infuriated the Left and annoyed the establishment Republicans. She was definitely not “politically correct.”
The forces that lined up aggressively promoting the ERA were overwhelming. This included the full Democratic and Republican establishments, including enthusiastic support from Presidents Gerald Ford and later Jimmy Carter, and their wives. It included virtually all of Hollywood, with major TV and movie stars doing endorsements, support from major corporations, and of course aggressive support by the entire mainstream media.
Like many conservatives, Phyllis was hated by the Left with a visceral passion. During her anti-ERA battle she was screamed at, sworn at, spat on, had things thrown at her, and even had pig’s blood poured on her. The infantile emotions of liberals haven’t changed at all. The fact that she routinely out-debated them made it even worse!
It had eerie similarities to today’s huge “culture war” battle.
This is the part that struck me most:
In 1972 Phyllis began her fight to stop the ERA. She was not only an incredibly articulate writer, speaker, and political thinker, but she was also an unbelievable organizer. She brought together and mobilized a very formidable army of thousands of women, mostly housewives, from across the country. This was before the Internet or even fax machines existed! And she taught them how to go to their state legislatures and lobby strategically and effectively despite the opposing them. Legislators had never seen anything like it.
You see that? Unbelievable organizer. Not some fly by night community organizer either.
She also created hard-hitting pamphlets, wrote countless newspaper columns, gave speeches across the country, and appeared on numerous television interview shows — usually against a stacked deck, but still coming out on top.
Over the next eight years, five more states ratified ERA. But also during that time five other states – under pressure from Phyllis and her forces – rescinded their ratifications.
DO YOU SEE IT? BOOM!!!
They RESCINDED their ratifications!
Can that strategy work today?
YES IT CAN!!!
A year before the 1979 deadline Congress voted to extend the ratification deadline three more years, until June 30, 1982! But it didn’t work. The Schlafly army kept enormous pressure on any other states from ratifying it.
In the end, the ERA fell short by three states.
The larger story of this impossible victory is really fascinating for activists today. In 2009 Phyllis made this exciting video discussing it in detail. (It’s 43 minutes long, but worth watching.)
Creating the modern pro-family movement in America
The ERA battle and was the beginning of the modern pro-family movement in America.
Then as now, the Left had enormous, seemingly limitless funding. Phyllis and her group, called the Eagle Forum, had only what the members could pull together. They paid for their own travel and supplies.
Phyllis had an almost supernatural ability to focus on success. This is a quality that is almost completely lacking in today’s pro-family movement, which seems to fold its tent at the first sign of trouble.
In the 1980s, the Moral Majority, Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family, and other groups organized nationally and took on political battles – and more large national pro-family groups blossomed in the 1990s. But Phyllis had paved the way. And none of those other groups has changed America the way she did.
Phyllis’s list of other accomplishments over the years is monumental. You can read about most of them in this Human Events article.
The Eagle Forum
After the stunning victory over ERA, Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum organization blossomed. It has chapters across America and at one point, according to reports, had nearly 100,000 members. Over the years, Phyllis would tirelessly visit chapters around the country and speak at their banquets and work with their leaders.
Interestingly, the chapters had and still have a reputation for being much more “moderate” and non-confrontational in their approach to political action than Phyllis herself, although they are completely loyal to her ideas and philosophy and do not compromise on core pro-family principles.
This is probably because the women who take on the chapter leadership positions tend to be more “organizers” rather than firebrands, and are often married to wealthy husbands who can help with the chapter’s expenses. This is completely understandable, but has sometimes caused confusion to other conservatives expecting a more aggressive approach. And as a result, the chapters have rarely been as successful as Phyllis herself in stopping destructive liberal forces.
We believe that her independent approach also allowed Phyllis to build an independent fundraising network outside of the unreliable and mushy “mainstream” pro-family donor community.
Making the Republican Party pro-life
A lot of people today just assume that the Republican Party has always been pro-life. But after the Supreme Court abortion decision in 1973, the GOP establishment had little interest taking a stand. The pro-life platform was predominately due to the force of will of Phyllis Schlafly, who attended every GOP national convention since 1952, and got her people on the platform committee.
Phyllis and today’s national pro-family movement
As the “culture wars” began to heat up in the 1990s, Phyllis never seemed to fit in with the emerging national pro-family establishment in America. And she was rarely invited to their national conferences or asked to participate in major events or planning sessions.
We consider that a mark of high distinction for Phyllis. It appears to us that she recognized that the national pro-family movement had become like the GOP establishment – a double-dealer to its supporters. Over time the pro-family “establishment” has consistently compromised the core principles of the larger base. It’s happened on homosexuality, civil unions, gay marriage, comprehensive sex-ed, and most recently transgenderism. They do it to appease the more moderate conservative donor class and avoid confrontations with the LGBT movement and the liberal media. Phyllis has consistently refused to play that dishonest game.
That “mild” approach would never have won the ERA battle. Phyllis never wavered on her core principles on any of the increasingly incendiary “culture war” issues. Instead, she held her own annual pro-family conference where she took on the issues she felt important, honored the politicians who deserved honor, and did it her way.
Skipping to the end of the article:
An intellectual dynamo until the end
Most people slow down when they become elderly. But Phyllis was an exception. She never missed a beat. Through her eighties she continued to be a forceful and dynamic speaker on the college circuit – often taking considerable abuse from “liberal” audiences while continuing to dish it out.
Right up until her death she continued to write books, columns, and articles that were simply outstanding. And it’s utterly amazing to watch the videos her interviews of her sharp analysis of current events from even weeks before her passing.
And the liberals hated her even in death. The Boston Globe called her “polarizing.” The wave of hateful and odious tweets and posts from the mindless liberal pundits and celebrities is a testament to her power over them.
There will never be another Phyllis Schlafly. She was the best. RIP.
To quote Sylvia: Evil never sleeps it is simply relentless.
The moral battle against the wickedness of leftism will not end. The leftists do not let little things like “laws” and “rules” get in the way of achieving their objectives.
Despite their preening that “the arc of history bends towards [NeoMarxist] ‘justice'” reality is an unforgiving teacher. History is there for anyone to learn from, and see the mistakes of others, and gives us a path on how we can move forward, if we allow ourselves to lose the self-righteous chronological snobbery that somehow, by magic, the youngest least educated and least experienced among us are the enlightened ones who will lead us into a new golden era. Idealists always believe their own rhetoric, even when faced with towering mountains of undeniable contrary evidence.
Deadline 9:45 AM CST 2/13/20 Ask your Rep to vote NO on ERA
Since last April, Eagle Forum has been tracking the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrats and ERA activists have falsely claimed only one state is left to pass the ERA.
Upon passage in 1972, the ERA was sent to the states for ratification. 38 states needed to pass the amendment within seven years. In that time frame, only 35 states passed the ERA and 5 states rescinded their ratifications (Nebraska, Tennessee, Idaho, Kentucky, South Dakota). The ERA failed ratification and in 1982 the Supreme Court in NOW v. Idaho ruled that the ERA was dead.
To validate their belief that the ERA is still eligible for ratification, the House is attempting to pass H.J. Res. 79, which retroactively removes the ratification deadline. Removing the ERA’s ratification deadline in this manner would be like Congress voting today to overturn a veto by President Carter. In addition, this maneuver sets the dangerous precedent that Congress can legislate away pieces of law that prevent them from furthering their political agenda. To add to this, Congress is undermining the will of the people in Nebraska, Tennessee, Idaho, Kentucky, and South Dakota, who all rescinded ratification, by counting these five states as part of the original 35.
Consistent with the decision in NOW v. Idaho, the Department of Justice released an opinion on January 8, 2020. The DOJ stated:
“Congress may not revive a proposed amendment after a deadline for its ratification has expired. Should Congress wish to propose the amendment anew, it may do so through the same procedures required to propose an amendment in the first instance, consistent with Article V of the Constitution.”
Upon the release of this opinion, Representatives Maloney (D-CA), Speier (D-CA), Reed (D-NY), and Fitzpatrick (R-PA) released a joint press release. They said:
“Virginia’s vote and the outpouring of support from Americans –men and women – across the country have shown that it is finally time to affirm women’s equality in our Constitution and that there is no timeline or expiration date when it comes to achieving it.”
It should concern everyone that these ERA supporters call the deadline “arbitrary” and believe that the Constitution doesn’t already protect all people, including women, when indeed it does.
To add to this, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Dillon v. Gloss (1921) that Congress has the power to choose a reasonable time frame for the states to consider amendments. Amendments should have a “contemporaneous consensus” or a time frame that protects the Constitution and Americans from amendments that are no longer relevant to the current day. Most would agree that we’ve come a long way since the 1970s.
Even if the deadline hadn’t passed, the ERA is still a bad policy that harms women. There are many unintended consequences of not distinguishing between biological males and females. The clause “on account of sex” will surely be interpreted to provide for men identifying as women. Indeed, at the Federal level, the Equality Act and the Violence Against Women Act include provisions allowing men to take advantage of women’s only institutions, like women’s prisons, shelters, sports teams, restrooms, and locker rooms.
In addition, the amendment removes all protections for women merely because men don’t need those same protections. These include workplace practices that accommodate pregnant women, state labor laws for women who do heavy and manual work, government programs that support mothers, like WIC, and laws and presumptions that support women in the areas of alimony, child support, and the requirement of husbands to pay the medical bills of dependent wives. The ERA is sex neutral.
More importantly, the ERA will expand abortion. In both New Mexico and Connecticut, the state’s ERAs were used to overturn abortion restrictions and mandate taxpayer funding of abortion (N.M Right to Choose/NARAL v. Johnson, Doe v. Maher).
The ERA is dangerous and threatens the well-being of women and unborn children. Please ask your Representative to vote NO on H. Res. 79.
Click here for more information on the ERA.
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
Today the House voted to remove the ERA’s 7-year ratification deadline (H.J.Res. 79). For Members of the House supporting H.J.Res. 79, this was a purely symbolic vote. The ERA doesn’t give women anymore protections than they already have. The 14th Amendment, as well as many other laws like Title IX, the Equal Opportunity Act of 1963, the Equal Employment Opportunity Discrimination Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the Equal Pay Act provide women equal rights.
Removing the 7-year ratification deadline doesn’t bring the Amendment any closer to ratification. For 24 of the states that passed the ERA, their votes to ratify the ERA explicitly expired on March 22, 1979. To add to this, in 1982, the Supreme Court ruled in NOW v. Idaho that ERA failed ratification and was effectively dead. Earlier this year, the DOJ released an opinion supporting this decision.
On Tuesday, a Vox headline said, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has “…dealt a fatal blow to the Equal Rights Amendment.” According to Justice Ginsberg, the ratification process must start over for the ERA to become enshrined into the Constitution. Phyllis Schlafly and RBG agree: ERA is dead on arrival.
The article went on further to say that, “Ginsburg’s comments are likely to be the death knell for the ERA. Without Ginsburg’s vote, it’s tough to imagine that five members of the Supreme Court would agree the ERA was properly ratified.”
“Congress should heed RBG’s advice instead of passing a Resolution removing a deadline that can’t be removed. In doing so, these Members have failed to protect the many women who’ve elected them.” said Eagle Forum President Eunie Smith. “Under the guise of “women’s equality,” the ERA will remove every distinction between the sexes and enshrine abortion into the Constitution. The ERA is not about protecting women. The Senate will be wise to not consider the measure.”
Eagle Forum’s Washington, D.C. staff, Tabitha Walter and Kirsten Hasler, were able to witness the vote in the House Gallery.
For more information on the ERA, please visit Eagle Forum’s website and listen to episode 6 of our podcast, Engage with Eagle Forum. Kirsten Hasler, Tabitha Walter, and Anne Schlafly Cori have also written on the harms of the ERA.