Will the ERA Become the 28th Amendment? –

by Stuart MacPhail – December, 2019

On Nov. 6 The New York Times carried a story headlined “The Equal Rights Amendment May Pass Now.  It’s Only Been 96 Years”.  It claimed: “Virginia, soon to be under Democratic control, will likely be the 38th state to ratify the amendment.  The Supreme Court could decide what happens next”.

The writer says: “The amendment was ratified by only 35 of the necessary 38 states before a 1982 deadline. Nearly four decades later, in 2017, Nevada became the 36th.  In 2018, Illinois was the 37th. Now, Virginia’s incoming Democratic leaders have promised to take it up immediately when the legislature convenes in January — and given that it failed in the Virginia Senate by only one vote when the body was under Republican control, passage is almost assured”.

As the article says, “The big question is whether Congress will void the ratification deadline — or whether it was ever enforceable to begin with”.  Then comes the question of five state ratifications that were subsequently rescinded.  Read the Times piece HERE.

The primary organization heading the renewed drive for ratification of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment is the ERA Coalition, headed by Carol Jenkins and Jessica Neuwirth.  That group claims 94% of Americans support the ERA.

On Nov. 6 the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) carried a related report.  Their take was a bit different.  Their Policy Analyst is quoted as saying “While proponents characterize the ERA as merely enshrining the basic legal equality of men and women into the highest law of the land, the reality is that the Amendment could have sweeping consequences unintended by voters. Risking those consequences is foolish when legal equality is already guaranteed by the Constitution, and buttressed by federal and state law”.  Read that report HERE.

On Nov. 22 PBS News Hour carried a report headlined “Equal Rights Amendment edges closer to reality”.  It said: “In the shadow of last week’s impeachment hearings, the House Judiciary Committee paved a path for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in the first full congressional hearing on the measure since 1983”.  The committee voted 21 to 11 in favor of a resolution to eliminate a deadline for the ERA.  Read that report HERE.

The December edition of the National Review will also be carrying a related story headlined “Is the Equal Rights Amendment Back from the Dead?”  Read it HERE.

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