This week, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to 1.5 million women by throwing out their charges of comprehensive gender discrimination by retail behemoth Walmart in a 5-4 decision. In response to the ruling, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) re-introduced the Equal Rights Amendment, a bill that affirms the equal application of the U.S. Constitution to both women and men by declaring “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
While the ERA would restrict government actions and not that of private companies, it would give Congress a stronger hand in legislating protection for women and it would restrain radical anti-women justices like Antonin Scalia. What’s more, it would restrain the hands of state legislatures across the country seeking to put anti-women legislation in place.
Here in Arkansas, there’s renewed interest in the ERA at a grassroots level and it looks like it’s the same for other states like Virginia which managed to pass the bill in the state senate before it died in a state house committee. With all the anti-woman legislation being peddled by Republicans across the country, my suspicion is that this effort will only grow. So maybe we should send anti-women legislators and activists a thank you note?