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.”
Walk along Frostburg’s Main Street in the spring and summer and one can’t miss the beautiful floral arrangements that adorn the lampposts.
President and Obamacare: Who needs Congress?
Being a fellow from a small town like Cumberland I don’t always really understand what’s going on in Washington. But I have watched a few houses being built over the years. I even helped some with one house, but my brother fired me from that work pretty quickly, mainly because it was his house being built.
Sweet Success Business Forum this evening in Frostburg
As a member of the Frostburg Business and Professional Association (FBPA), I am pleased to inform the community of the “Sweet Success” event sponsored by the city of Frostburg and our organization.
The idea of spending up to $7,500 for a study about the possibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area should at least be allowed to reach first base.
You can help United Way reach its goal
The United Way of Allegany County campaign for 2013-14 will end April 30 and to date has raised more than $430,000, which is over 86 percent of its goal. But there is still $70,000 to be raised in a very short 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.
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