Friday, June 01, 2018

USA in historically strong position to pass Equal Rights Amendment

I had no idea but apparently the United States has had an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to its 1788 Constitution in the works since 1972, an amendment that enshrines equal rights for women in the highest law of the land.
An Equal Rights Amendment was first put before Congress back in 1923, and was passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in 1972. But such a change to the Constitution has to be ratified by a minimum of 38 states (random number?), and the requisite number of sign-offs has never been achieved.
However, the state of Illinois has just signed off on it, following Nevada's ratification last year, which brings the total to 37, meaning that just one more state needs to ratify it in order to make it law. This sounds like a relativey simple obstacle, but the remaining 13 states who have still not signed off are clustered in the Republican south of the country: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Utah and New Mexico.
Bear in mind, though, that Virginia currently has 2 Democratic Senators, and Florida and Alabama have one each. None of these states has a Democrat majority in the House, but bear in mind also that there are mid-terms coming up in November this year, and the Democrats are expected to make substantial gains.
Many states already have their own state amendments covering equal rights, but the USA is now in a historically good position to make such common-sense changes to the national legal system. And what a smack in the mouth that would be to Donald Trump! It would be worth pushing through for that reason alone.

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