To: The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate
Pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
Equality between women and men is a fundamental human right that should be guaranteed in the Constitution. Pass the Equal Rights Amendment.
Why is this important?
"Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that would expressly prohibit discrimination against girls and women on the basis of sex. The Constitution does not guarantee equal rights for women. As former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has stated: “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”
The ERA is an important statement of principle. The Constitution embodies the nation's core values. Equality between women and men is a fundamental human right that should be guaranteed in the Constitution.
Sex discrimination continues to limit equal opportunity and justice for women. Economic inequality, pregnancy discrimination, violence against women, and other forms of discrimination against women and girls are pervasive and leave women without effective legal recourse. State laws are not uniform and federal laws are not comprehensive. Moreover, these laws can be, and in some cases have been, rolled back anytime.
The Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution does not protect women from sex discrimination. The Fourteenth Amendment provides equal protection of the law, but it has been interpreted to require state action and the intent to discriminate. Much discrimination occurs through private action and is not intentional, making intent hard to prove. The Supreme Court reviews sex discrimination claims using intermediate rather than strict scrutiny, a lower standard of review than for racial and religious discrimination claims.
1. "Scalia: Women Don't Have Constitutional Protection Against Discrimination," The Huffington Post, January 3, 2011