It’s New Hampshire primary day! Get prepared with your Tuesday installment of the Three Martini Lunch. Join Jim and Greg as they applaud Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for telling her fellow supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment that the effort died in 1982 and they need to start over again if they want to see it succeed. They also cringe as CNBC reminds us that Bernie Sanders would more than double federal spending every year due to his big government plans for health care, education, climate change and more. Meanwhile, Jim discusses the calculation from many on the right calculation that a Sanders nomination means an easy win for President Trump. And they roll their eyes as Tom Steyer tries to one-up the Democratic field by calling for a $22-per-hour minimum wage.
Virginia’s House of Delegates approved the Equal Rights Amendment Wednesday, with supporters hailing the vote as the final step for ratification and critics pointing out the opportunity to enact it ended 38 years ago.
The Democratic-led chamber voted 59-41 to approve the amendment, also known as ERA. The problem for supporters is that Congress gave the states until 1982 to reach the 38-state threshold needed for ratification.
Undeterred, activists plan to push Congress to change the deadline so the votes in Virginia and a few others states that took place well after the deadline can count towards ratification.
Independent Women’s Forum Senior Political Analyst Inez Stepman says it’s not that simple. She says Congress set the window for ratification as part of the amendment itself, which was approved by a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate. She argues a two-thirds majority would also be needed to change the deadline.
Listen to the full podcast as Stepman explains the political and legal wrangling to come on this issue. She also explains why she believes the amendment is wholly unnecessary.
Finally, Stepman explains how the ERA could actually erode equality for women and girls.
Virginia Democrats will take control of the General Assembly next week. And while their gun control agenda is receiving the vast majority of the media coverage, the Democrats are also planning to ratify the decades-old Equal Rights Amendment and claim that vote will officially add the amendment to the Constitution.
The Equal Rights Amendment, known as ERA, was approved by two-thirds majorities in the U.S. House and Senate in the 1970’s but failed to reach the threshold of 38 states within the ten-year window Congress permitted to ratify it. Democrats believe they can can revive the effort while opponents say it officially died nearly 40 years ago.
What are the legal and political facts in this dispute? And what would the ERA actually do?
Independent Women’s Forum Senior Political Analyst Inez Stepman says its states purpose of mandating equality between the sexes would be redundant since women enjoy the same rights as men. ]
However, she says the ERA could be very dangerous by not only declaring men and women equal but essentially interchangeable. And from separate public restrooms to men and women being eligible for the draft, Stepman says the impact could be far-reaching if supporters can overcome the political and legal hurdles.
“It could be an enormous legal change. If their legal theories are accepted and they ratify the ERA, all kinds of laws today that Americans take for granted could be constitutionally infirm and struck down by the courts,” said Stepman.
Listen to the full podcast to learn what’s at stake in this debate and how the fight is likely to play out.