Did you know...
The ERA is the most proposed amendment in U.S. History.
In 1940, the Republican Party became the first major political party to include the ERA in their election platform. Today 94% of Americans support equal rights: 97% of Democrats; 90% of Republicans; and 92% of Independents. In fact, 80% of Americans think the Constitution already guarantees them. It does not.*
The only right women have in the U.S. Constitution is the right to vote.
Women do not have “equal justice under law,” and the ERA was written to correct that omission. Our court system currently holds sex discrimination to a lesser standard of judicial review, which negatively affects the result of a fair judgement. The ERA would raise that standard so that sex would be at par with race, religion and nation of origin when seeking judicial relief.
We have laws that protect from discrimination.
Yes we do. But laws are limited, and only pertain to certain types of employment or education. They are not comprehensive and differ from state to state. And laws are subject to interpretation and revocation by whichever legislative body, court or administration is currently in power. Laws are fragile. A gain in one circumstance can easily be lost in another.
The 14th Amendment does not protect women.
The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were ratified in the late 1860's to bring a sense of closure to the Civil War. They were needed to not only define the status of the former slaves, but also the soldiers who fought for the Confederacy.
- The 13th Amendment freed the former slaves.
- The 14th Amendment made "male" African Americans "citizens," and
- The 15th Amendment gave those male citizens the right to vote.
Respected voices have said the Constitution does not protect against sex discrimination.
One of the most revered jurists of our time, Justice Antonin Scalia, left no doubt as to whether women have constitutional protection. When asked specifically if the courts had erred in applying the 14th Amendment's 'equal protection clause' to cases of sex discrimination, he replied:
"Yes, sorry to tell you that. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex.
The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't." California Lawyer Interview, 1/4/2001**
Amending the Constitution is the only way to assure the same fundamental and universal rights for all Americans, regardless of sex.
* ERA Coalition Polling Statistics
** youtube clip of Antonin Scalia. Quote begins at 16.10 minutes