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Rep. Baldwin Introduces Bill to Speed Up Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment

Rep. Baldwin Introduces Bill to Speed Up Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment

On Tuesday, International Women’s Day, Wisconsin Representative Tammy Baldwin (D) introduced legislation designed to speed up the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

The ERA is designed to explicitly prevent discrimination on the basis of sex. Congress passed the Amendment in 1972. Ratification by 38 states was required for the Amendment to become law, but the legislation fell three states short by the extended deadline of 1982.

However, because the deadline for ratification had already been extended from seven to ten years, this suggests Congress has the power to once again extend the deadline. Furthermore, Baldwin points to the 27th Amendment which deals with matters of congressional pay. It was ratified in 1992, 203 years after its initial submission.

The legislation that Baldwin has now introduced would specifically remove the deadline for ERA ratification and would state that upon ratification by three further states, the Amendment would be added to the Constitution.

More from Windy City Times:

“The ERA is intended to ensure equality for women and men in all areas of society,” said Baldwin. “It is an immediate and decisive remedy to end sex discrimination in federal and state laws and provides a clear benchmark for judicial interpretation. Achieving equality and justice for all in the United States is fundamental to our democratic principles, economic recovery, and continued leadership around the world. The intent of my resolution is simple: a path to equality for all Americans,” Baldwin said.

[...]

“With women comprising more than 50% of the workforce and serving this country on the fronts of two wars, it is time to end the discrimination based on sex that women still face in the United States,” said Jean Landweber, Wisconsin ERA Chair, United 4Equality. “I am proud of my Representative, Tammy Baldwin, for introducing this legislation to remove the arbitrary time limit that was imposed in1972 for ratification of the ERA. The time is right to achieve equality of rights by finishing what the brave women of the ’70s started,” Landweber said.

The 15 states still to ratify the bill include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia.

Notable of those is perhaps Virginia. The Virginia state Senate passed a resolution (SJ357) to ratify the ERA in February of 2011 but the House of Delegates companion bill (HJ640) was twice tabled in subcommittee.

The need for the ERA is perhaps best expressed by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent statement saying that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution does not prevent sex discrimination and that a belief otherwise is a “modern invention.” While many would disagree with Scalia, this statement does “serve as an important reminder about the Court’s bitter divide on the issue of the scope of the 14th Amendment” as fellow blogger Jessica Pieklo wrote while commenting on Scalia’s argument.

For the latest on the ERA check equalrightsamendment.org

For more Care2 coverage of International Women’s Day, click here.

 

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Photo adapted under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Jay Inslee.

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21 comments

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1:45AM PST on Mar 13, 2011

strange a repubk;licain with good ideas,this wil not be good accepted from the others,only the democrats wants also the same

1:17PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Thank you, Tammy Baldwin. My grandmother was a Suffragette, and I've fought for this amendment since the beginning. It has to be the Law, because inequality seems to be programmed into every culture, including ours. Only the Scandinavians seem to have achieved a degree of enlightenment. I will do whatever I can to help, although the state in which I vote has already passed the ERA.

8:56AM PST on Mar 11, 2011

there are supposed to be more women on earth than men, so why are these changes taking so long.

9:07PM PST on Mar 10, 2011

Women in the US have been waiting since 1850 for this. What the hell is wrong?

3:02PM PST on Mar 10, 2011

You can't put down half of your species and continue to thrive.

1:28PM PST on Mar 10, 2011

Bravo Ms. Baldwin! I hope you get enough support for this ratification and that it spreads to other states. Long overdue, but not surprising, since the US is one of most conservative countries in the world.

1:20PM PST on Mar 10, 2011

To steal a phrase from Winston Churchill,
"Never, never, never give up."

Thank you, Ms Baldwin. If this works, can you do somethng about your governor?

12:48PM PST on Mar 10, 2011

We of Equal Rights Alliance spearheading Florida's ERA ratification really appreciate all the comments. We also help mentor 6 other states but WE ONLY NEED 3 MORE STATES TO RATIFY THE ERA so it can be passed into the US Constitution!
We have been doing this For You, yours and us For Free for eleven years with gradual success.
As a party to United 4 Equality, another national organization with sole purpose to pass the ERA, WE HAVE RATCHETTED IT UP AND WITH CONG. BALDWIN HAVE JUST FILED THIS NEW AND UNIQUE BILL THAT SHOULD SPEED IT UP.

6 OTHER states have been working hard in their states. Get in touch with us to start up your state's own ERA effort and strengthen all of ours!

but But BUT, there is a LOT more work ahead.
It is not enugh, we have found, to just sit back and say "Lotsa luck in this political climate!.

That's copping out. Our bills in the states HAVE some Republican co-sponsors! Even if they didn't, just excusing yourself from pitching in--it's easy and NOcost--and it WORKS. Even just a few people in a state can make this huge difference.
If you ever wanted to MAKE A DIFFFERENCE, ERA is for YOU. We show you how, help you, write your speeches at first, connect you, and cheer you on! NO reason to ignore this .
Tour our www.2PassERA.org and learn what YOU are missing (ERA for Women,Moms, Men, the Religious..MORE). See the UNratified US map, surveys, how to counter Schlafley's lies...MORE. Write me at sandyo@PassERA.org, our national site.
Most w

10:15AM PST on Mar 10, 2011

It would be wonderful if ERA was amended but I will not held my breath with the republicans holding the house and it seems all the cards.

10:07AM PST on Mar 10, 2011

I live in Illinois and I've been upset all these years that the ERA was not ratified here. Phyllis Scafly was running all over our state telling everyone not to ratify it. IT NEEDS TO BE RATIFIED.

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