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House Democrats are trying to eliminate the ratification deadline for a constitutional amendment that expired more than 30 years ago, but one of the Supreme Court’s left-leaning jurists says that the whole effort just needs to start over from the beginning.

At a Monday event at Georgetown University celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was asked about her prognosis for the future of adding an Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution.

“I would like to see a new beginning,” the justice said. “I would like to start over.”

The Equal Rights Amendment — which said that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex” — was passed by Congress in 1972 and was given a seven-year deadline followed by a three-year extension for the requisite three quarters states to sign on. By the time the extended deadline expired in 1982, only 35 of the 38 states necessary had ratified it.

“There is too much controversy about latecomers — Virginia — long after the deadline passed,” Ginsburg said Monday, “Plus, a number of states have withdrawn their ratification; so if you count a latecomer on the plus side, how can you disregard states that said, ‘We have changed our minds’?”

Five states — Tennessee, Nebraska, Kentucky, Idaho, and South Dakota — have withdrawn support for the amendment since ratification.

The expired ratification deadline has become a point of contention as, in recent years, other states have moved to ratify the amendment. Nevada ratified it in 2017, as did Illinois in 2018. Virginia’s Legislature ratified the measure in January, bringing the total number of ratifications to 38, and once again raising the question about whether or not those ratifications count.

The Democratic attorneys general of Virginia, Nevada, and Illinois filed a lawsuit in federal court in January, arguing that the Constitution doesn’t place deadlines on amendments and that the deadline wasn’t included on the article that was sent to the states.

However, the Trump administration has argued that the issue died almost 40 years ago when the deadline expired.

“Congress has constitutional authority to impose a deadline for ratifying a proposed constitutional amendment,” a Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel opinion last month stated. “It exercised this authority when proposing the Equal Rights Amendment and, because three-fourths of the state legislatures did not ratify before the deadline that Congress imposed, the Equal Rights Amendment has failed of adoption and is no longer pending before the States.”

Meanwhile, the Democrat-led House of Representatives is expected to pass a resolution this week intended to simply eliminate the deadline.

Outside of the constitutional debate about the ratification process, critics of the amendment have warned that it could be used as an effort to bolster abortion.

“It would enshrine abortion in our Constitution for all nine months — even during the birth of a child — and could force taxpayers, including Feminists for Life, to pay for abortions,” Feminists for Life of America President Serrin Foster wrote at The Washington Examiner. “Abortion is a betrayal of feminism.”

A 2018 paper from the Charlotte Lozier Institute says that the ERA is seen by many as an effort to protect abortion rights in case the Supreme Court ever does away with the “weak prop” of the Roe v. Wade decision.

“Because legal abortion has no actual constitutional authority, abortionists and their Congressional allies are convinced they need to add the ERA to the Constitution to keep abortion ‘legal,'” the paper contends. “Taking a radical short cut to this goal is, in their view, self-justifying.”

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9 Comments
  • Rash says:

    First, the Amendment says “sex” and should say “gender”. Then it MUST define gender as “male or female”. There are only 2 genders. Male and female! All this “trans” bullshit is exactly that, ….. bullshit! If someone is confused about their gender, …. a two second peek inside your underwear will clear up all confusion. Just because some dude would “PREFER” to be a female, and in his fantasy, likes to “PRETEND” to be female, does not mean we have to humor the son of a bitch, and amend the constitution to say that the rest of us must pretend that he is normal. If I as an employer is forced to accept this freak, and give him a job and pretend he is normal is bullshit. I wont hire him until he shows up in proper attire for HIS GENDER, and no effing law you want to pass will change that. STOP CODDLING THESE FREAKS! THEY need to conform to societal norms or be shunned by the rest of society. They need a shrink, and not some crap law that says it is ok to be a freak”.

    • Kara says:

      I totally agree with you Rash!! I, for one, want to live in a real world where men are men and women are women like God made them. I don’t want to have to stoop to their level to accept the world around me. If I go into a women’s public bathroom and there is a “man” in there he better be aware because I’ll make sure he gets to resemble a woman a little bit more.

      • Rash says:

        Kara, if my wife, daughter or grand daughter find some male freak, dressed in drag in a ladies room, one of us, him or me, is going to the emergency room.

  • Matt says:

    The Dems really are desperate, aren’t they?

  • Carl says:

    I have to agree with her.

  • Demsarebadmmkay says:

    Cant the people who are “confused” about what sex they are just suck it up and dress accordingly to their Physical Gender when at work? If i owned a company, Especially one that was a company that dealt face to face with the public on a daily basis, I wouldn’t want some guy who looked every-bit of the gender to be showing up at work dressed up as a woman, it would only lead to unwanted problems for him AND MY business that I should NOT have to deal with except for a bunch of big shots in DC are forcing me to!
    Im NOT being rash or against these people , I’m being honest, yeah there are a lot of people now a days who are more accepting of this sort of behavior and try to be nice but there are STILL a lot of people who do not accept this way of life and will tell you so and that will just lead to a bunch of un-needed BS for business owners. These off gendered people are a tiny bit of society, We cannot let the few rule the many.
    When the day comes where it is universally accepted and a lot more people find it normal and don’t have any issues with it, fine… but until then, if you are going to work for me and you are a male, just dress the part, same goes for the ladies, if you are a female, just dress the part…consider it your work uniform.
    then off the clock you can wear whatever you wish!

  • Q says:

    Male & female is pretty clear as far as the sexes go & pay for you own damn abortion or get private donors who believe in the right to abort a child up to 9 months. I don’t want your kids blood on my hands!!

  • Intellectual Impaler says:

    The Equal Rights Amendment could also be used as a back stop in the way this was originally thought up. The unborn should have Equal Rights BECAUSE the Left refuse to give Rights to the most vulnerable compared to some one who is gender confused or just because they are woman. No one is as vulnerable as a baby who can’t fight for themselves.

  • Intellectual Impaler says:

    Gender confused you can thank a Democrat for that. They are in the School systems as teachers and as administrators pushing an agenda that goes all the way back to the Communist Manifesto in how to destroy a country from within.

  • CF
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