Is Virginia going to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment?
If the Equal Rights Amendment is ratified in Virginia, it would be the 38th state to do so and last one needed amend the United States Constitution, but there is still continued debate on if it has missed its deadline.
Virginia Tech law and public policy expert Brandy Faulkner offers insight into the fresh debate over ERA.
Faulkner on ERA
“As an amendment, the ERA is not at all specific. It simply declares that everyone will be entitled to equal rights under the law regardless of sex. It’s basically an anti-discrimination amendment that could be interpreted in various ways depending on context. The courts would play a critical role in determining its meaning.
“Clearly we are still dealing with sex discrimination based on sex. Over the past decade, we have seen policy proposals to remove additional barriers to the participation of women as full citizens in society. For example, Congress passed the Ledbetter Act in 2009 to move us closer to equal pay for equal work. States have passed paternity leave acts, and of course we’re still having debates about reproductive rights and health care needs for women.
“Not only are those problems ongoing, but also the scope of sex inequality has expanded to discussions about gender inequality and myriad questions about sexual orientation. In many ways, those issues are now intertwined, and helps energize the movement for sex-based equality often.Still, some believe that states have made tremendous progress in this area since the ERA was first proposed, and hence we don’t need a U.S. Constitutional amendment to ensure sex-based equality.
“Still, some believe that states have made tremendous progress in this area since the ERA was first proposed, and hence we don’t need a U.S. Constitutional amendment to ensure sex-based equality.”