Rep. Carolyn Maloney said Monday she plans to make a major push to pass and ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.Most clear-thinking people would move on, but not Maloney. Especially in these dark days where women are under unprecedented assault or something.
Bills calling for a Constitutional amendment to ensure women get equal treatment under the law have been introduced since 1923.
Legislation passed in 1972, but only 35 of the necessary 38 states had ratified it by the 1982 deadline.
ERA bills have been introduced in each session of Congress since, but Maloney says this time there will be a bigger effort to get it passed.
"What is different now is the onslaught against women, the efforts to roll back rights we thought we had," Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) said.It's been a consistent fabrication for even longer.
"Many cuts Republicans are proposing affect women, children and families."
Women struggle with workplace discrimination and poverty, she said.
"In factories and offices, in mills and malls, women receive only 77 cents for every dollar that men make - and this has been consistent for 25 years," she said.
Maloney is enlisting some real Democrats heavyweights for her battle. Or at least one.
Maloney also cited a recent observation by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia that the 14th Amendment - which says no person should be denied equal protection of the law - does not include protecting women from sex discrimination.Oh no, someone's going to tell on them!
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) called Scalia a "troglodyte" and vowed to work with Maloney to get the ERA passed.
Nadler said he'll build support for the ERA by enlisting as many bill co-sponsors as possible. Women's groups plan to keep score; lawmakers who don't co-sponsor it will be considered opponents, and their constituents will be told.
Not to quibble with Jerrold Nadley, Constitutional Scholar, but here's what the "troglodyte" Scalia actually had to say about the 14th Amendment.
In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don't think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we've gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both?
Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that. ... But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that's fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't. Nobody ever thought that that's what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don't need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box. You don't like the death penalty anymore, that's fine. You want a right to abortion? There's nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn't mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it's a good idea and pass a law. That's what democracy is all about. It's not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.