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Yes, really. I mean the meaning of “sex.” The leftists in the House of Representatives passed a resolution purporting to extend the deadline for passage of a Constitutional amendment that had failed for lack of ratification by the specified deadline. The Democrats did so as part of election politics. The Senate Republicans should seize the opportunity given them, rather than playing into Chuck and Nancy’s hand.
Democrats want to run this year as women’s rights advocates, even as they destroy the rights of actual girls and women. It is time one party stood up for girls and women against the patriarchy in dresses. The ERA, if passed as currently written, will be weaponized by the left, reading their cultural agenda through the word “sex.” Nevertheless, the recurring story we will see and hear for the next nine months will be that a bunch of old white men, led by Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump, are standing in the way of women’s equality. It does not have to go this way.
The Democrats almost slipped the ERA by us back in 1972-1973, whereafter Phyllis Schlafly mobilized effective opposition. Eventually, several states reversed their ratification. Yet, the Democrats intend to claim in court that a state cannot un-ratify, so they get to collect every state, with the more recent passage by Virginia making the magical 38th state, adding the already redefined amendment onto the end of the Constitution, trumping all previous language—especially the First Amendment’s religion clauses.
To get to their grand prize, the Democrats passed House Joint Resolution 79 on February 13, 2020.
H. J. RES. 79
Removing the deadline for the ratification of the equal rights amendment.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That notwithstanding any time limit contained in House Joint Resolution 208, 92d Congress, as agreed to in the Senate on March 22, 1972, the article of amendment proposed to the States in that joint resolution shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the United States Constitution whenever ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States.
Passed the House of Representatives February 13, 2020.
What is this “equal rights amendment?”*
You can see the Joint Resolution, on its face, set a deadline. That deadline was controversially extended by a supposed piece of legislation, passed by both chambers and signed by President Carter. If you missed that procedure in your pocket constitution, you do not have the correct progressive lens for reading. The deadline came and went in 1982.
Think very carefully about what “sex” has become in our academic and cultural elite: “gender,” “sexuality?” Note the complete lack of acknowledgment that there might be any conflict with the first freedom in the First Amendment [emphasis added]:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
With the ERA, federal courts can impose their beliefs on the entire country, effectively outlawing the kind of religion they do not like. This is because each new amendment must be read as controlling all prior language in the Constitution, otherwise, it would not be an “amendment.” There are two legitimate ways to actually amend the Constitution. They are laid out in Article V [emphasis added]:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
As it happens, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has weighed in on the subject of ratification. She did so earlier this month at Georgetown Law School. While I almost never agree with her court opinions, she is still a very clear thinker. There is real wisdom in her response to the question of the ERA, wisdom Republican senators and conservative activists should hear and heed. As Vox reported: “Ruth Bader Ginsburg probably just dealt a fatal blow to the Equal Rights Amendment.”
Three-fourths of the states, or 38 total, are required to amend the Constitution. Last month, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the ERA and one of only three states to do so since 1977 — but there’s a catch. Congress imposed a 1982 deadline on states hoping to ratify the ERA, though there’s doubt about whether this deadline is binding.
Ginsburg’s comments on Monday suggest that she believes this 1982 deadline should be considered binding. “I would like to see a new beginning” for ERA ratification, the justice told McKeown.
“There’s too much controversy about latecomers,” Ginsburg added. “Plus, a number of states have withdrawn their ratification. So if you count a latecomer on the plus side, how can you disregard states that said ‘we’ve changed our minds?’”
According to the Washington Post, five states — Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota — voted to ratify the ERA but later rescinded that ratification.
Here is the whole conversation, available only on Facebook, but not requiring any log-in [relevant section starts around 42:45]:
100 years after the 19th Amendment guaranteed women the right to vote in the United States, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge M. Margaret McKeown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will discuss that watershed moment and the continued fight for equal rights for women that has followed.
Posted by Georgetown Law on Monday, February 10, 2020
Instead of timidly either playing vote-scheduling games or passing the buck by passing the House resolution, the Senate Republican leadership should get in front of cameras and thank the Democrats for bringing up an important and timely subject. They should then say that the old ERA failed, not once but twice, even after being given extra time. Senate Majority Leader McConnell should quote Justice Ginsburg on the importance of proper ratification and then say that women’s rights are too important to cut corners and get the courts involved. The Republicans should announce that it is time to do it right, time to fully examine the original language of the failed amendment, the pros and cons from all the years in between, and to then vote on a better, modern amendment that fully protects women’s rights without any infringement on people of faith.
Then hold the hearings. Get the craziness on the record before the 2020 party conventions, before the general election. Get the old warnings and the actual history on the record. Finally, put forward a clearly worded amendment for proper, constitutional consideration by each chamber of Congress, prior to sending it to the states for ratification. The Democrats want no part of any such discussion, especially in a presidential election year. Call their bluff in the name of women, honesty, and fairness.
* From the National Archives Foundation: