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Equal Rights Amendment Advocacy

May 05, 2023

“The fight for the E.R.A… .  should serve as a reminder that constitutional amendment is possible,” writes Visiting Prof. Kate Shaw at The New York Times.

At The New York Times, Visiting Professor of Law Kate Shaw has penned “It’s Time to Reacquaint Americans With the Possibility of Changing the Constitution. Here’s Where to Begin” with co-author, Julie C. Suk, a law professor at Fordham. In the guest essay, Shaw and Suk advocate the passage of Equal Rights Amendment.

Shaw is a Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and she teaches Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Legislation, and a seminar on the Supreme Court. Her academic work focuses on executive power, the law of democracy, the Supreme Court, and reproductive rights and justice.

From The New York Times:

Last week, the Senate held a vote on the Equal Rights Amendment — the latest development in a century-long effort to amend the Constitution to explicitly guarantee sex equality. The E.R.A. resolution received 51 (bipartisan) votes but fell short of the 60 votes necessary to advance under the Senate’s current rules.

The fight for the E.R.A. remains critical — with Roe v. Wade now toppled, it is in fact more critical than ever. Despite what a majority of Americans think, our Constitution has no explicit guarantee of equal rights for women and men — the only right that cannot be denied or abridged “on account of sex” is the right to vote. In the hands of the current Supreme Court, the existing Constitution’s equality guarantees do far too little to protect women.

The E.R.A. would protect the fundamental rights necessary for women to live as equal citizens in America. Properly applied, it would guard against pregnancy and motherhood discrimination; it would also protect women’s control over their reproductive lives. It would authorize laws remedying gender violence, like domestic violence and sexual assault. It might even require government to reduce the gender pay gap.

The fight for the E.R.A. also has broader significance for American politics: It should serve as a reminder that constitutional amendment is possible — and necessary, especially in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — and that it is one area in which Congress, not courts, gets the final say… . 

Read the full piece at The New York Times.