Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The ERA, the 14th Amendment and Why You Should Care.

Did you think that the Equal Rights Amendment, or, ERA, was passed? Do you understand the connection between the threat to Roe V. Wade and the looming fight to overturn the 14th Amendment to the Constitution? Did you even know that such a movement was afoot? Join the amazing number of Americans who have no idea what is in store for them in the near future. First, as I love to say, a little background;

The Equal Rights Amendment, was first proposed in 1923 and was to have stated that women have equal rights under the law. It didn't make it. Fast forward about 48 years to 1971. With an election looming ahead, and Roe V. Wade on the Supreme Court calendar, something needed to be done to ensure the female vote, for the sake of both parties.

The ERA passed from Congress, to the Senate for Ratification, in 1972. It has since been ratified by only 35 of the 38 states necessary to comprise a two-thirds majority and become law. So, with the assent of only 3 more states, women could become full Citizens by Law. It would be the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.

Quick question; why hasn't this been done in the 38 years since the passage of the Bill by the House? Quick answer; I don't know.

Now, for the connection to the 14th Amendment; Have you read, or heard, that some Candidates for Congress, and even the Senate, are talking about repealing the 14th Amendment? That's the pesky little "Reconstruction Era" Amendment that says the following;

Section. 1. "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

This Amendment has other components, but it is the first section with which we are really concerned. The whole Amendment was passed amidst much confusion about which of the former Confederate States really had the right to cast a vote on the bill at all. Remember, at that time, and until the passage of the 17th Amendment by Congress in 1912, and later Ratified by the Senate in 1913, the Senators were appointed by the Governors of their respective states. At the time, several of the former Confederate States were still under Federal Jurisdiction, thus calling into question whether or not they had the Right to Representation in Washington. The same held true for the District of Columbia, which had no Right to Vote until the 23rd Amendment was Ratified in 1961. To this end, the bill was rejected several times, until finally on July 28th, 1868 the Secretary of State declared it Ratified by Proclamation. So,that Amendment,on which so many of our Civil Rights are founded, is based on shaky ground. Although long considered "settled law", it is apparently under attack in some quarters. This bodes ill for many of the so called "special Interest" groups. Women are amongst them.

Your Right to Abortion is at question, based on the actions of those who would repeal the 14th Amendment. So is the Miranda Ruling, which has already taken a hit at the hands of an increasingly Conservative Court. The Federal Voting Rights Act of 1964, the 24th Amendment, would be in jepordady, as has been demonstrated recently by the actions of several Candidates for Public Office. These proponents of the Move to Repeal the 14th Amendment, state a "return to states right's", as their motivation, but there is something more foul afoot here, at least in my estimation.

At any rate, if I were you, I would be calling my local representative concerning getting that ERA thing ratified as the 28th Amendment, before they knock down the 14th Amendment. I don't really think their efforts to Repeal will be successful, but still, you've been waiting 38 years for the ERA to be Ratified, and most women aren't even aware that it never was. That should trouble you, my 14th Amendment ramblings notwithstanding.

The real pity of this whole thing is that the Equal Rights Amendment was sold as a "Women's" issue, kind of like a "chick flick." But in reality it covers all. Here is the text of this very brief, yet important Amendment;

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.

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

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Wow! This would cover Gay Marriage, Transgender, even the flawed policy of "Don't Ask, Don't tell" would fall under this Amendment. No wonder they have swept it under the rug... So, if this issue concerns you in any way, and it should, then you need to get on the phone and make your voice heard.

Here is a list of the States that have NOT Ratified the ERA, there are 15 of them. Remember, you only need three and the Vote can be called by any state, at any time, as the Bill has already passed the House.

North Carolina,
South Carolina,

And here is a great Resource site for this issue;

No comments:

Post a Comment