CA Legislature Judiciary Committee to Vote Soon on Resolution Urging U.S. to Enact Equal Rights Amendment

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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.


About The Author

Paulina Buelna is a second year History of Public Policy and Law major at UC Santa Barbara and aspires to become an attorney. She is from Los Angeles, CA and hopes to attend law school after graduation in the year 2024.

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One thought on “CA Legislature Judiciary Committee to Vote Soon on Resolution Urging U.S. to Enact Equal Rights Amendment”

  1. Alan Miller

    Wow, there’s a move to ratify a half-century old constitutional amendment?  I remember sitting in the kitchen of the Mormon family next door in 70’s while the parents were discussing between themselves why they were against the ERA.  I wish I could remember the detail, but I think the gist was they thought it was unnecessary.  I remember as a kid I couldn’t fathom why it wasn’t a good idea.

    I don’t recall how it was worded from 50 years ago, but I would think updating it first may be necessary?  In the 1970’s society knew of two genders, period. If you asked a politician back then to define a woman, they wouldn’t hesitate and change the subject.  Maybe it’s generic enough that it allows for breathing room.  If it’s literally worded to be about women, I’d think the first thing that would happen is the a request for the definition of ‘woman’ would end up going before the supreme court, and heard.

    One of the biggest social issues is women’s rights being argued by conservatives as the reason to deny transgender women the right to play in women’s sports, while a lefter-leaning argument is for the right of transgender women play in the gender they identify with.  I find this one of the most fascinating conundrums of our time, as this issue is less compromise-able than abortion rights.

    If this does end up before the supreme court, there could be a very dirty showdown.  I question the timing, because conservatives may try to bring to bring this before the current conservative court.   And I’d think a TRA would be right on the heels of ERA, so why not just start fresh?  Hmmm . . . oh, maybe that’s the concern, because a TRA would probably not hit 3/4, at least not for a long time, so probably easier to pass ERA and deal with the definitions later.

    I haven’t heard of ERA in decades, and honestly I thought it expired in the 90’s, unratified.  This is going to be a fascinating ride.

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