Today is Women’s Equality Day! It’s hard to believe we’re still arguing over women’s rights, but here we are…
Yesterday I spoke at a National Organization for Women event in Atlanta, where there was a lot of focus on the topic of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. American women today are clearly ready to get this done.
The 28th Amendment to the Constitution would say the following:
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
Those simple 24 words constitute a law that women have fought to ratify for a century, since the suffragettes first proposed it. It would make a tremendous difference in the lives of millions of women throughout the United States. And today, given the striking down of Roe v. Wade, the ERA is more important than ever.
In a country where business interests are so consistently placed before economic or environmental justice, it’s no surprise that the current make-up of the Republican Party fight the ERA tooth and nail. The ERA would hamper their anti-choice and anti-equality agenda, but we are on to them. The ERA would free women from social, political and economic shackles that have bound us for centuries. And is time to break the chains.
One would expect a Democratic president to be with us on this, but the situation is more complicated than you might think. President Biden does publicly support the ERA and has called on Congress to ratify it, but behind the scenes, Biden’s Department of Justice is fighting the ERA in court and Biden is refusing to use his own ability to ratify it.
Enough states have ratified the amendment, but because of an arbitrary deadline that many legal scholars argue can be bypassed, the Trump Administration was able to refuse to verify the ratification. The Biden Administration has continued the Trump Administration’s position, refusing to verify the amendment even as activists across the country, as well as Democratic senators and representatives, have called on it to do so. In court, the administration continues to fight those who argue that the ERA is ratified.
My administration would reverse the Biden-Trump position, heeding legal scholars who say the ERA is already ratified and can be verified by the executive. I would make that call on Day One, simply calling the archivist and telling her to publish.
As President, I would not mess around. The assault on any of our rights, the obfuscation used to deny them and the diminishment of our freedoms, define an era that needs to end.
It’s long past time that women had equal rights in this country. Nothing would make me prouder than to be the first woman president, so I could make sure that it is so.
Please help me get so I can.