Wednesday, March 17, 2021

House Votes to Revive ERA Amendment for Women

The House Voted largely along Party Lines, Wednesday, to Remove the Expired Deadline for Ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) for Women, despite the Justice Department's View that such a Move is Not possible.

The Resolution, which must also be Approved by the Senate, says the Amendment shall be Part of the Constitution whenever it's been Ratified by the Legislatures of Three-Fourths of the Atates. That happened in 2020 with Virgina Voting Yes.

But the 222 to 204 House Vote came Decades after the Seven-year Ratification Deadline set by Congress as well as a Three-year Extension Approved when the Amendment was coming close to Passage in the 1970s.

"With President Biden and Vice President Harris at the helm, this will finally be the year we ratify the ERA to the Constitution,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA, 14th District), Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and Author of the Resolution.

"I supported the ERA from the very beginning," Biden said at the First Democratic Debate in 2019. But Biden has Not Removed a Barrier to Passage put up by Trump. During his Administration, the Justice Department said Congress Can’t Revive the Proposed Admendment, it can Only Restart the Ratification Process. "We conclude that Congress had the constitutional authority to impose a deadline on the ratification of the ERA and, because that deadline has expired, the ERA Resolution is no longer pending before the States," the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel wrote.

Asked if Biden will Rescind that Opinion, an Administration Official said Biden won’t Dictate an Outcome. Speier said, on Wednesday, she is confident the Justice Department's 2020 Opinion will be Withdrawn. "If you talk to any constitutional scholar, they said the opinion that was offered by the Justice Department last year was laughable, that it could not hold water in any real serious court of law," she said. "That was a political statement."

The Measure is Supported by Two GOP Senators, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME). But it doesn’t have enough Republican Support to avoid a Senate Filibuster. "I wish that I could tell you that we had more Republican support for that at this point in time," Murkowski said Tuesday. "We continue to work that."

The Senate did Not take it up after the House Passed the Resolution last year.

If Adopted, the Constitution would state that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Supporters say it's a long-needed Protection for Women who Face Discrimination in the Workplace and struggle against Domestic Violence and Sexual Harassment.

Though many Federal, State, and Local Laws Prohibit Discrimination, those can be Changed much more easily than a Constitutional Amendment. Courts treat Sex Discrimination Cases inconsistently, Advocates say. "We have the right to demand that we be put in the Constitution," Speier said. "We want in."

Opponents argue it's an Unnecessary Amendment that would enshrine in the Constitution Protections for Abortion, Voiding any Federal or State Restrictions. Anti-Abortion Groups have pointed to Court Decisions in Connecticut and New Mexico that used State-Approved Equal Rights Amendments to allow "medically necessary" Abortions for Women on Public Assistance.

"Men and women are already equal under the Constitution. This legislation would make us no more equal," Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-MN, 7th District)), said during Floor Debate. "It is merely a vehicle for the far-left, special interest groups to use to enact their pro-abortion agenda."

Douglas D. Johnson, Senior Policy Adviser for National Right to Life and Director of its ERA Project, said the Constitution does Not Empower Congress to Time Travel back to 1972 to Resuscitate a Long-Dead Constitutional Amendment. Lawmakers are trying to do so, he said, because they know they can’t Restart the Ratification Process without Opening the Amendment up to Changes, including those that would be sought by Abortion Opponents.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

No comments: