Equal Rights Amendment revisited

It was first proposed in 1921. Nearly 80 years later, should we reconsider it?

I’ve never fully understood why this proposed amendment sparked such vehement opposition. The wording is straight-forward, and it seems to reflect values that most Americans would profess. If the ERA were proposed again today (if that’s even a legal option), would it still fail to be ratified by enough states?

Aye, good question. I wonder if some people today would be opposed to the ERA not because of what it says but because of what it doesn’t say. I mean, it says “… on account of sex,” but I’m sure some people would feel that it doesn’t go far enough. If sex, for instance, why not also sexual orientation (or whatever else someone might regard as near and dear to their identity)? I can imagine that what the amendment includes and (by default) excludes might make it very contentious.

I had always thought that it was never ratified because it was unnecessary. The equal protection bit in the 14th amendment ought to protect womens rights the same way the ERA would.

It seems the Supreme Court hasn’t applied the equal protection clause to sex discrimination with the same strength as they have to racial discrimination. But thats the courts fault, not the fault of the amendmend. And later decisions seem to have given it more strength than the early decisions did.

A very good resource for info about the amendment, with discussion about supreme court cases related to it is here: http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/constitution/toc.html

That URL also contains an article about other Amendments That Never Made It [TM].

I had no idea that (1) only SIX proposed amendments have passed a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress but failed to get a three-fourths majority of the States to ratify them; and (2) one of these six was a PRO-slavery amendment (which would have made the later 13th amendment impossible), and this proposed amendment carried President Lincoln’s signature on it for some reason.

Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

Why not? I seem to remember that an amendment to the constitution was sucessfully repealed.
(The 18th by the 21st).

Unless you meant that the proposed 14th amendment wouldn’t have been ratified. Is so, then just ignore this post.

To lying, cheating, stealing, and drinking.

Always lie to save a friend, cheat death,
steal your love’s heart, and drink with good friends.
—*Madison Michele

That might be one reason that the amendment ultimately failed. But if it really was unnecessary, why was it ratified by a majority of the states before it failed?

As I recall, the arguments about ERA were much more vitriolic. People said it would erode traditional family roles, force women into combat, etc. It seems there were quite a few men AND women who just didn’t want equality for the sexes written specifically into the constitution.

Some people opposed the amendment on its face, because of what it said. Those are the sentiments I never really understood. My question is, would the same opposition surface if the amendment were proposed again today?

Here’s the text of the proposed amendment:
“No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”

So the weird part about the proposed pro-slavery amendment was that it prohibits future amendments that would allow Congress to make laws regarding slavery. You could imagine that the supreme court wouldn’t allow the amendment to be repealed, because that would amount to allowing Congress to make laws regarding slavery.

It seems to me though, making a law prohibiting future laws of equal or higher precedence just isn’t kosher.