The ERA would end women’s second-class citizenship by finally giving women equal standing in the federal CONSTITUTION, thus would ensure women’s equal TREATMENT under all laws, regulations, and policies of state and federal governments.
The ERA would afford women equal treatment under the DUE PROCESS CLAUSE and the EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE, which affect all other rights including everything from obtaining a dog license to the First Amendment, LIBERTY, etc. These fundamental constitutional rights ensure that all people enjoy the most basic freedoms: autonomy, self-determination, authority over the self, bodily integrity, etc. Without the ERA, women cannot be assured that any rights will apply equally to them.
The ERA would require courts to use strict scrutiny when reviewing claims involving different treatment of women. Without the ERA, courts are allowed to use only intermediate scrutiny, which, unlike strict scrutiny, permits infringements on rights.
The ERA would protect abortion rights and literally save women’s lives by making it clear in the text of the Constitution, for the first time in history, that women are fully equal persons who can no longer be subjected to unequal treatment under any laws, including abortion laws.
The ERA would allow us to fight and reverse any sex discriminatory state or federal law, regulation or policy. The ERA specifically states that the Congress may pass legislation to enforce the ERA, which would mean Civil Rights laws would be amended to ensure women’s equal legal stature. Without the ERA women do not enjoy equal treatment under civil rights laws. For example, aside from employment, women are excluded from Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. ERA would fix this.
Under the ERA and strict scrutiny, women would still enjoy separate spaces and sex-based preferences that serve a compelling state interest, such as a need to address a history of discrimination.
The ERA would allow women to sue the government for unequal enforcement of rape and domestic violence laws, bias against women in family court, and courts enforcing laws requiring equal pay for women would have to construe the word equal to mean actually equal. Without the ERA courts can interpret laws requiring equal treatment to mean something less than fully equal. The ERA would enable women to assert stronger legal arguments against the commodification of women by surrogacy, pornography, prostitution, and sex trafficking.
According to Wendy Murphy, attorney for Equal Means Equal, “The ERA is more desperately needed in 2022 than ever before because of Dobbs” (the decision that overturned Roe). “Women’s pervasive status as second-class citizens enabled the Supreme Court to cavalierly take away all personhood rights of pregnant women. Women are literally the lifeblood of this nation, yet they are vulnerable to dystopian court rulings solely because they lack basic equality in the Constitution. The only solution is to fix the Constitution. The ERA does that.”
The ERA was ratified by the 38th state in January of 2020 and is now the law of the land, but, just like the Trump Administration, the Biden Administration is blocking the ERA from being published in the Constitution. Biden is also fighting against the ERA in federal court the same way Trump did. Please get the word out to pressure Biden to publish the Equal Rights Amendment Now!