By Paulina Buelna
SACRAMENTO, CA – The CA State Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Senate Joint Resolution 12, legislation sponsored by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego).
The measure urges Congress to enact the Equal Rights Amendment in the US Constitution—the ERA was originally set to enter in the U.S. Constitution in 1972 but it did not receive the full support from all states. But this past year or so, the ERA has been ratified by the necessary three-fourths of states.
The SJR 12 recognizes the ERA as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution. It also calls on Congress to approve House Resolution 891, authored by Congresswoman Jackie Speier.
According to Sen. Skinner, who is vice-chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, “Gender equality as a legal right should not be subject to arbitrary deadlines, especially when, solely on the basis of sex, a woman in the U.S. today is still paid less, promoted less, and more likely to be subjected to sexual harassment.”
She added, “SJR 12 puts California on the record: The time is now for Congress to recognize the ERA as the 28th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
Virginia was the 38th state to ratify the ERA on Jan. 27, 2020, said Skinner, but because of conflicting issues from the Archivist of the U.S., it has not been established as our 28th Amendment.
The Archivist has pointed to a Trump Department of Justice memo that claimed the ERA had expired before Virginia and two other states ratified, even though the language in the Constitution relating to how amendments can be added includes no timeframe or deadline for ratifying amendments.
In response to the Archivist, U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-CA, introduced House Resolution 891 in January. The bill expresses Congress’ will for the ERA to be the 28th Amendment to the Constitution because it has met the constitutional qualifications for doing so.