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.
I have three words I want to say: “It is time.”
Support Canal classrooms with tax-deductible gift
While your April 17 article (“Park Service opens Canal classrooms,” Page 1A) described this exciting program accurately, your readers may be wondering how they can help support this new educational opportunity for school children in Allegany County.
Ivan Hall story brings back memories of a unique man
I enjoyed Mike Sawyers’ Ivan Hall story. It was well written and brought back some wonderful memories of my Cumberland days and especially, an unique man.
It’s a secret
Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.
What do we do about those who weren’t criminals after all?
Now that Maryland has become the 17th state to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.
The first step
If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.
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).
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.
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.
Where to look
Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.
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.
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