With the Equal Rights Amendment ratification that officially just took place in Virginia (“Murky milestone for ERA,” editorial, Jan. 18), it’s time to declare the amendment ratified since the three-fourths threshold established in Article V of the U.S. Constitution has been achieved.
We in the United States should be proud to join over 140 other countries in the world that have some provision for sex equality in their constitutions.
Yet even before Richmond, the capitol of the Commonwealth (aka the capitol of the Confederacy), voted to ratify the federal ERA, men in Alabama, Louisiana and South Dakota lined up to litigate the issue in federal court, in a desperate attempt to move the goalposts.
However, now that 38 states have ratified the ERA, it is the duty of the U.S. Archivist to declare it ratified and add it to the U.S. Constitution.
Never mind the “extra-textual” arbitrary deadline that was imposed on the ERA, twice, since there is nothing in the Constitution that allows for deadlines. Besides, the definition of inequality is: “Men get no deadline. Women get a deadline.”
Never mind that five states have attempted to rescind their ratification after the fact, since there is nothing in the Constitution that allows states to un-ratify. Besides, there is precedent on this issue; since after the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868 two states have attempted to rescind but the Supreme Court turned them back stating that a state cannot rescind.
Never mind that the Trump administration Department of Justice authored an opinion saying the ERA is dead. When have they ever agreed with us on anything? That’s their opinion, and that opinion is not binding on either Congress or the courts.
The big news is that the U.S. House will vote on the ERA “Delete The Deadline” bill the week of Feb.10. Now that’s momentum.
Virginia passed the ERA with bipartisan support in both houses — because a vote for the ERA is a vote for equality, period.
Now, Minnesota Senate, it’s your turn do the right thing. Join the House in passing the state ERA bill to ask the voters whether it’s time to legalize equality.
Betty Folliard, of St. Paul, is founder of ERA Minnesota.