Thursday, January 16, 2020

Virginia Voted To Pass The ERA, But The Trump/Barr Justice Department Is Preventing It From Becoming The 28th Amendment To The Constitution


The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution passed another milestone yesterday. Virginia became the 38th state-- and that's how many you need to make it the 28th amendment. But the Trump regime has already moved forcefully to prevent that. Let me explain. First the text of the resolution proposing the amendment (H.R. 208):
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission by the Congress:


"Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

"Sec. 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

"Sec. 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification."
Did you know that the ERA was first introduced in 1923? The Senate finally passed it in 1950. Eisenhower was more vocal about getting it passed than any other president had been and back in those days passing the ERA was part of the Republican Party platform. The AFL-CIO, the ACLU and many Democrats-- particularly progressive Democrats-- opposed it, primarily because they feared women would lose beneficial labor protections that had been hard-won past victories. JFK campaigned on it but backed off it entirely once he was elected president.

In 1971 a joint resolution passed the House 354 to 24 (51 not voting) and the following year passed the Senate 84-8 (7 not voting). Nixon, the president, endorsed it and off it went to the state legislatures-- with a deadline of Natch 22, 1979 to get 38 states. Within days it had been ratified by Hawaii, New Hampshire, Delaware, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas. By 1977 Indiana voted to ratify and the whole thing kind off petered out. Then 40 years later Nevada suddenly ratified it (2017), followed by Illinois (2018) and then yesterday, the 38th state-- Virginia, where it passed both houses.

But in the meantime, 4 very backward conservative states-- had their legislatures rescind their ratification: Nebraska, Tennessee, Idaho and Kentucky. No one knows if legislatures are even allowed to rescind ratification, so that will have to be litigated, as will Congress' decision to extend the deadline for ratification.

As of today there are 12 states that haven't ratified, although 6 of them have one of the houses of the legislature voting to ratify: South Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and Noth Carolina. Three states have had votes but the amendment was defeated: Arizona, Arkansas and Mississippi.

The most recent congressional action came at the end of last year when Jackie Speier's bill to abolish any time limits for ratification-- H.J.Res. 79, which has 224 co-sponsors, enough for passage. Passage is now being pushed by Democrats and generally opposed by Republicans, although there are 2 Republican co-sponsors making it, at least superficially, bipartisan.

That brings us to state 38 and Virginia's vote yesterday. The House of Delegates voted 59-41 to approve (a bipartisan victory) and then the Senate voted 28-12 (including 7 Republicans, one of whom was Tommy Norment, the Republican minority leader).

One far right sociopath, Senate Republican Amanda Chase, insisted that all the ERA does is use women as political pawns for liberal causes.

The Trump/Barr Department of Justice issued a legal opinion before the Virginia legislature voted that the deadline to ratify had expired and it didn't matter what Virginia did. Without a court decision the ERA can't be added to the Constitution. Trump screwed women again.

No one has been able to get a comment from Ivanka but we did reach out to two of the public officials who I know who have been the strongest advocates of equal rights I have ever known, Georgia Senate candidate Teresa Tomlinson, former mayor of Columbus, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus and represents Seattle.

Pramila celebrated on Twitter yesterday... and to me, she said "What a great moment in history-- and a huge step forward for equality! The Equal Rights Amendment is about equality, pure and simple. It is about ending the second class status of women in America. We all know that we have a long way to go in achieving equality for all women. The gender pay gap continues for all women, with women of color bearing an even greater burden. Women who work full time, year-round still only make 82 cents on the dollar for men’s earnings, amounting to an annual gender wage gap of over ten thousand dollars. Black women make only 62 cents, Latinas make 54 cents, and Native women make 58 cents for every dollar paid to white men. And close to two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women. Not only are women more likely to earn minimum and sub-minimum wages-- they are also subjected to exploitation and sexual harassment in the workplace and on the streets. We now have 38 states that have approved the ERA. In November, I joined my House Judiciary Committee colleagues to pass a resolution to remove the ratification deadline for the ERA, bring us closer to a day where all people, regardless of gender, are equal under our Constitution. Women deserve to see their equality recognized. It is past time-- we need to finally ratify the ERA."

Blood On His Tiny Hands by Nancy Ohanian

Labels: , ,


At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another example of women who vote Republican are going against their own interests. And remember, more white women voted for Trump than for Hillary. How will Biden fare?

At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ask yourself how fundamentally evil a nation has to be to NOT ratify this for 40 years.

Is it any surprise that we elected a 'pussy grabber in chief'.

it is truly ironic that it overcame the threshold for ratification during the reign of the guy who pays to have sex and who grabs pussies for fun.

when considering everything, I'm amazed that ANYONE BUT avowed Nazis could be, in any way, proud to be an American.


Post a Comment

<< Home