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Heading to DC for the 1st Congressional hearing on Equal Rights Amendment in 36 years‼️ & most exciting #ERA event since the 2012 We Are Woman Capitol rally 🙌

Here's why all lawyers➕lawmakers➕everyday Americans should care abt #ERANow & why arguments v #ERA are 🗑️ (a thread):
We are FINALLY only ONE STATE away from actually ratifying this sucker & getting equality on the basis of sex into the Constitution! WE ARE SO VERY CLOSE & everyone should care! Changing our Constitution is one of the most difficult processes in the world.

2/ LAWYERS should care about the #ERA bc the 1st section of the amendment will be used to litigate cases abt discrimination on the basis of sex.

The ABA (the largest bar association in the US) actively supports ratification of the #ERA: abajournal.com/news/article/e…
Can't you envision throngs of lady lawyers on the Supreme Court steps chanting:

What do we want? "STRICT SCRUTINY" When do we want it? NOW!

What do we want? "STRICT SCRUTINY" When do we want it? NOW!

What do we want? "STRICT SCRUTINY" When do we want it? NOW!
ELECTED OFFICIALS (& Candidates!) should care abt the #ERA bc the 2nd section creates an entirely new route for them to pass laws to protect women & other marginalized genders No more need to contort arguments to try & fit things under the Commerce Clause.
The importance of this was highlighted by the recent FGM case that was overturned in Michigan. The judge said the FGM ban law didn't have enough to do w interstate commerce (false) & so Congress didn't have the power to pass it. The ERA would prevent this. nytimes.com/2018/11/21/hea…
EVERYDAY AMERICANS should care abt the #ERA bc it provides (at long last) a permanent ancho for women r in our most foundational document. It will also cement gender equality as an American value.

Every little girl who studies the Constitution will see herself reflected in it.
That's a HUGE AMAZING victory in & of itself.

Every student who studies the Constitution would also learn about gender equality.

IMAGINE THAT. SRSLY! What a difference that could make.
Two main procedural arguments are made against the #ERA: 1) The deadline expired in 1982 & 2) 5 states have attempted to rescind their ratifications (Nebraska (3/15/73) Tennessee (4/23/74) Idaho (2/8/77) Kentucky (3/17/78) South Dakota (3/1/79)) & North Dakota attempted in 2019).
1) Simply put, Art. 5 of the Constitution does NOT impose deadlines. Period. Some argue they are per se unconstitutional. But, the 1982 deadline was made by Congress & Congress can take it out (@RepSpeier & @SenatorCardin have bills to eliminate it: H.J. Res. 38 & S.J. Res. 6 ).
2) The precedent is clear— rescissions don't work. For the 14th Amendment 2 states attempted to rescind (OH, NJ) but, they were listed among the ratifying states in the end. The attempts to rescind simply do not count.
With the 15th Amendment NY attempted to rescind, but GA ratified, bringing the total to the requisite three-fourths. NY is considered to be among the ratifying states.

With the 19th— TN tried to rescind after the fact, but its attempt was ignored.

Rescission is a no-go.
The original substantive ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE ERA have almost all been entirely eradicated. Phyllis Schlafly's bogeymen issues of the 1970s have actually come to fruition & made society BETTER & are resoundingly accepted by most Americans (gay marriage, women in combat etc.)
The most common latter-day argument against the ERA I hear now is ABORTION. Hands-down.

It's on loop w the anti-#ERA crowd.

Anti-choice activists call the ERA the "Everything About Abortion" amendment in an attempt to negatively stigmatize it. (points for creativity! 🤦‍♀️)
1st off, access to abortion is ALREADY a right protected by the US Constitution. This right falls under privacy, not equality (see Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, etc. etc.)

It has been well established that we have a right to terminate our pregnancies.
What anti-choice activists *actually* want is to take the currently existing right to access abortion care AWAY. They want to roll back our rights & fear the ERA will impede that rollback.

So, yes. We do want the ERA to protect CURRENTLY EXISTING HUMAN RIGHTS.
However, there are already ERAs in 26 state constitutions & nowhere is abortion completely unregulated (their bogeyman argument).

In fact, NY State (where they just passed comprehensive Reproductive Health Act that conservatives hate) DOES NOT YET HAVE a state ERA. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Some analysts argue the ERA would ensure equal scrutiny between men & women on a variety of issues, & access to medical procedures & reproductive rights would be considered among those.

That is possible, but not a given.
So, will the ERA cement the well established human right to access safe, affordable reproductive healthcare into our Constitution? I CERTAINLY HOPE SO, but it honestly remains to be seen how much it will directly impact that specific issue.

Since women currently serve in all combat roles this retro argument is already outdated, but it comes up a lot.

Since women currently serve in all combat roles this retro argument is already outdated, but it comes up a lot.

This is another scare tactic meant to frighten women & make them feel vulnerable.
However you feel about the U.S. military— there is currently nothing that prevents the draft from being extended to women. Women were nearly drafted in the last days of WWII as nurses. It's a question of expediency, not protection.
In 2016 the Senate passed a bill that would have required women to register for Selective Service, w support from Senator John McCain, who explained that women already serve with great distinction in all aspects of our armed forces.
In October 2017, the Pentagon recommended that women register w the Selective Service.
A federal judge recently held that a male-only draft would be unconstitutional even under the 14th Amendment. Regardless of ratification of the #ERA, a reinstated draft likely would likely include everyone, not just men.

TRANS+ RIGHTS are often mentioned when the #ERA comes up. I wrote about this recently.

Spoiler alert: THE ERA IS QUEER & I AM HERE FOR IT. It's going to help all marginalized genders WHICH IS WONDERFUL! #ERANow advocate.com/commentary/201…
THE ERA WILL TAKE AWAY RIGHTS & PROTECTIONS WOMEN ALREADY HAVE. This argument compelling bc it's the most scary to vulnerable women.

But, it's NOT even a little true.

The government would still be able to draw helpful distinctions based on sex if they pass “strict scrutiny.”
So, if a state has a compelling interest in maintaining a specific sex-based distinction—for example, limiting a battered women’s shelter to women, to protect them from continued trauma—the ERA would not affect it.

Laws that have a good reason to help & protect women can stay!
This is just another false scare tactic of the anti-ERA crowd & most of the laws that people think of as benefitting women—like social security regulations, WIC benefits, laws requiring child or spousal support, and so on—are actually already sex-neutral.
The final most common argument I hear is some version of WE DON'T NEED IT ANYMORE / “What rights do men have that women don’t?” / Women are already protected by the 14th amendment / “Is your life SO bad, that you need this??” etc. etc.

This is a tricky argument bc due to the lack of explicit protection in the constitution women's rights advocates (like RBG!!!! long may she live!!!!!) have used the 14th Amendment to garner some protection & eliminate some laws that discriminate on the basis of sex. That's true!
But, like I always say, EQUALITY IS NOT A FEELING. Equality is measurable. There are literally thousands of metrics that tell us that women are not equal in our country: Wage gap, participate in Congress, presence on boards, sexual assault rates, etc. etc. etc.
Put differently: Women don't have the right to be free from violence, sexual harassment in the workplace, to earn equal pay for equal work, to get adequate healthcare & leave etc. etc. There are so many rights women don't have that men simply can't see bc it doesn't impact them.
RBG said she wants #ERA to exist: “If I could choose an amendment to add to the Constitution, it would be the Equal Rights Amendment.” & “I would like my granddaughters, when they pick up the Constitution, to see that notion – that women and men are persons of equal stature..."
Let's ALL support the #ERA!

Call your Congressperson & ask them to co-sponsor the deadline elimination bills. ☎️

If you live in an un-ratified state, get involved in the fight to RATIFY! ✊

TOGETHER we can WRITE OURSELVES into the U.S. Constitution ONCE & FOR ALL!!! #ERANow
I ran into @CarolJenkins & @JessicaNeuwirth of the @ERACoalition on the train! Carol is CEO of the Coalition & Jessica is the author of "Equal Means Equal," which anyone interested in the #ERA should absolutely read!

This #ERANow brigade has arrived in DC‼️✨❤️
The folks who will testify in favor of the #ERA tomorrow are: the INCREDIBLE @Senatorspearman, attorney Kathleen Sullivan & longtime ERA supporter/ actor @PattyArquette



Good news for those not in DC‼️‼️ You can watch the ERA hearing LIVE tomorrow, Tuesday April 30th at 10am EST: judiciary.house.gov

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