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Fri Nov 8, 2019, 08:42 AM

How the Democrats' takeover of Virginia could end up preserving Ruth Bader Ginsburg's legacy

The fight to ratify the ERA, which was proposed by Congress in 1972, is a bitter lesson in just how hard it is to amend the United States Constitution. Though the amendment was quickly approved by 35 states, its momentum stalled after opponents scared conservatives with warnings that it would lead to things like unisex bathrooms and same-sex marriage. After the 35th state (Indiana) voted to ratify in 1977, no other state joined on until 2017 when Nevada took it up.

Yet, if Virginiaís new Democratic majority does ratify the ERA after the new lawmakers take their seats this January, there is a world of uncertainty about what happens next.
The truth is that no one actually knows if the ERA will become part of the Constitution if Virginia becomes the 38th state to ratify it. But there are also very good reasons why Virginia Democrats may want to give it a shot despite this uncertainty.

Should the ERA become part of the Constitution, the immediate impact would be fairly minor. The ERA would marginally expand the Constitutionís protections against gender discrimination, but those protections are already quite robust. Thatís because of a pioneering legal strategy, spearheaded by future Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the 1970s, which convinced the Supreme Court that the Constitution already provides most of the benefits women would enjoy under the ERA. (More on that below.)

Yet, while the ERA would not have much of an immediate impact on American constitutional law, it is unclear whether Ginsburgís legacy is durable. There are five justices on the Supreme Court right now who believe that the constitutional cases protecting against gender discrimination may not have been correctly decided. If Trump gets to fill more seats on the Supreme Court, those decisions that expanded protections for women will grow even more endangered.

The strongest case for ratifying the ERA, in other words, is not that it will revolutionize American law now. Rather, itís that it will insulate many existing protections against gender discrimination from an increasingly conservative Supreme Court in the coming years.


There would of course be challenges to this. But... This is why Democracy matters. This is why voting matters
Much more at the link...

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Reply How the Democrats' takeover of Virginia could end up preserving Ruth Bader Ginsburg's legacy (Original post)
Soph0571 Nov 8 OP
Hermit-The-Prog Nov 8 #1

Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2019, 01:34 PM

1. it is time to dust it off and ratify the ERA

Make it part of the supreme law of the land and even beer-sodden political hacks will have to abide by it.

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