Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Huffington Post article about the need for the Equal Rights Amendment

The following article was written by Patricia Ireland, President of National Organization for Women (NOW) 1991-2001.  Please post comments.  Personally, I think passing the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) is THE most important thing we can work on as American feminists.

In Solidarity,
N. Jerin Arifa
National NOW Board of Directors
National NOW Political Action Committee
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
National Organization for Women (NOW)

Equal Justice for Whom?

The Huffington Post

JANUARY 11, 2011

Some highlights:

January 2011 has brought a strange spotlight on the U.S. Constitution. First, Justice Scalia pronounces that women are not protected by the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. Then Republicans recite the entire Constitution on the floor of the House.
It is true that anyone listening to the Republicans' reading did not hear the word "women" anywhere in the equal protection clause. But then the word "corporations" did not pass their lips either, and corporations have been covered by the guarantee of equal protection since the Nineteenth Century. Corporations are nowhere mentioned in the First Amendment either. Yet, January 21 will mark the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Citizens United, which elevated constitutional protection for corporations' political speech to the level previously recognized only for natural persons. Apparently the omission of corporations from the First Amendment did not trouble Justice Scalia the way the failure to mention women in the Fourteenth Amendment does; he voted with the majority to extend the corporate right to free speech.
...the Constitution only protects what five of the Supreme Court Justices say it protects. Women's assurance of "equality of rights under the law" continues to depend on who is elected to the White House and the U.S. Senate, something to keep in mind in 2012's elections. In the long run, however, we should keep in mind the need to add an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to guarantee equality between women and men in language so clear that even Justice Scalia cannot mistake it. 

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