Editor: We appreciate the Sun Gazette editors engaging on the Equal Rights Amendment but I would like to clarify facts and legal precedent.
The 27th Amendment had its own lengthy ratification period, over 203 years. For the 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments, states that had rescinded ratifications were included in the count of ratified states, the rescissions ignored, and the amendments were added to the U.S Constitution. Readers should also note there has never been a fully ratified amendment kept out of the Constitution.
Additionally, Kathleen Sullivan, former dean of Stanford Law School, testified to the House Subcommittee on the Constitution that the word “shall” in Article V does not leave room for fully ratified amendments to be excluded.
Her testimony was effective and ,soon thereafter, subcommittee member Ben Cline of Virginia, told constituents in a local town hall he now understands once the 38th state ratifies the ERA, it will be added to the Constitution.
Although women have made great advances since the times we were legally considered chattel, it is important we work to correct the purposeful, historical exclusion of women from our founding document. Without this, the government can more easily discriminate on the basis of sex than race, religion, or country of origin.
We are the last major country with a written constitution that does not explicitly guarantee gender equality. It’s 2019 and women and our allies should demand more from our elected officials.
Kati Hornung, Campaign Coordinator, VAratifyERA