Cumberland Times-News

Letters

May 13, 2013

It’s time to ratify Equal Rights Amendment

 I have three words I want to say: “It is time.”

By those three words, I am referring to passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

To improve chances of its passage, I have introduced a resolution — which has bipartisan support — that would remove the deadline for state ratification of the ERA.

I believe there should never be a deadline when it comes to ensuring the equal rights of any American.

 When the ERA passed Congress in 1972, it was required that the measure be ratified by three-forths of the states (38) within seven years.

That deadline was later extended by three years to 1982. Now, more than 20 years later, 35 states have ratified the amendment — three short of the required 38.

 Congress has the authority to give the states another chance, and it is time that we do just that. I have introduced a joint resolution, which would remove the deadline for states’ ratification of the amendment.  The U.S. Constitution contains no time limit for ratification of constitutional amendments.

In fact, the 27th Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting immediate congressional pay raises was ratified 203 years after its introduction.  

Today, nearly half of the states have a version of the ERA written into their state constitutions. Maryland’s Constitution includes the passage: Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged or denied because of sex.”

 While I am pleased that so many states have made equal rights part of their constitution, it is time that the ERA be ratified to provide courts with clearer guidance in deciding discrimination cases.  

I am very troubled by a statement made by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who said in a 2011 interview that the Constitution does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. It is time that we make sure there can be no doubt or misunderstanding by the courts or any other body that discrimination based on sex will not be tolerated.

 There is strong support for my ERA resolution, which has been endorsed by a wide variety of groups, including United 4 Equality, the National Council of Women’s Organizations, the National Organization for Women, the American Association of University Women, Federally Employed Women and the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.  

I also am extremely pleased that the Senate co-sponsors of the resolution include: Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Bernie Sanders (I-ME), Carl Levin (D-MI) Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Martin Henrich (D-NM), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Mark Begich (D-AK). The resolution also has been introduced in the U.S. House by Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ).

 Women have made tremendous advances in our nation, but America still has not realized its promise of equal protection under the law for men and women.

It is time we improve the chances of ERA passage by removing the deadline for state ratification of the amendment.

Cardin, a Democrat, is Maryland’s junior U.S. Senator.

1
Text Only
Letters
  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014

  • Military veterans have few friends in Washington, D.C.

    Our legislators in Washington must stop playing politics with our veterans, this is  especially true of Vietnam war veterans. Will the game playing carry over to our veterans of present day wars? Will they too become pawns? Veterans have few friends in Washington. Just like the Vietnam veterans, today’s veterans will face
    what we are up against, little to no support.

    April 13, 2014

  • One cannot compromise on God’s word

    A recent letter asked, “What is it about compromises that seem so undesirable?” Most of us are familiar with John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The next verse goes on to say, “For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him”

    April 13, 2014

  • Ballpark project a partnership, not a government handout

    To the Editor:
    Regarding Mark Nelson’s recent objection to county government assistance to exploring the placement of a minor league baseball team in the Cumberland region, I would answer that the project should be considered a partnership between private enterprise and government. The private support would come by way of donations collected from local citizens, currently banked through the Dapper Dan Club.

    April 13, 2014

  • Group wants status quo on Sunday hunting

    Many Maryland residents have grown very concerned about two legislative bills that are arriving on the desk of Gov. Martin O’Malley after being approved by both the Senate and House chambers this session. With the governor’s possible signature of these bills into law, hunting would be allowed on certain state lands on Sundays — a day in the past reserved for rest and non-hunters to enjoy public lands.

    April 10, 2014

  • New policies will grow better streamside buffers

    Well-functioning forest buffers along streams are perhaps the most effective and least costly best management practice we have to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

    April 10, 2014

  • City has changed, but it’s still a great place

    Is it better to be positive or negative? I have been reading postings about Growing Up in Cumberland, other Facebook pages, and from many of my Facebook friends. Talk about food and many people have positive comments. I love Coney Island hot dogs as much as anyone and have some every time I am in Cumberland.

    April 9, 2014

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads