Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) in introducing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Resolution to recognize that Congress does not have the authority to deem the ERA as a ratified amendment to the Constitution.
The ERA Resolution is a check against an illegitimate effort, S.J.Res.4, that attempts undo the deadline that Congress set in 1972, when the amendment was sent to the states for ratification.
“Radical lawmakers cannot erase women or their rights from our Constitution. This attempt is legally and morally wrong and would unleash a Pandora’s box of harmful legal implications. Nor can they replace a deadline that passed long ago. This resolution makes clear what most of us already know: The deadline for states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment has long passed and was rightfully rejected,” said Kennedy.
“The law and the facts outlined in this resolution are clear. Congress has no authority to go back in time to revive a failed constitutional amendment, which makes the current push to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment wrong on its face. Beyond the illegitimacy of trying to resurrect the ERA, we cannot ignore the very serious effects adding the ERA to our Constitution today would have on abortion, religious liberty, protections for women, and more,” said Hyde-Smith.
Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) also cosponsored the resolution.
The resolution recognizes that:
- The role that Congress had in the constitutional amendment process for the ERA concluded once the amendment was submitted to the states.
- The ERA was not ratified to the Constitution because the deadline passed without having the necessary support from three-fourths of states.
- Congress does not have the authority to change a resolution that proposes a constitutional amendment after it is submitted to the states or after the deadline is reached.
- In order for the ERA to be ratified in a legitimate manner, the process must follow Article V of the Constitution, which requires a re-introduction of the amendment with the same or modified language in addition to being approved by two-thirds of both the House and Senate.
The potential ramifications of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment include:
- Legalizing abortion on demand.
- Prohibiting schools from allowing separate-sex athletic teams.
- Prohibiting separate prisons for male and female prisoners.
- Prohibiting separate public restrooms for males and females.
- Requiring women to register for the draft.
- Requiring public funding for sex-reassignment surgeries based on the argument that denying coverage would constitute sex discrimination.
- Requiring doctors to provide puberty blockers to children who claim to identify as transgender.
- Prohibiting religious organizations from having single-sex membership.
Of the 35 states that ratified the ERA before the deadline, four voted to rescind their ratifications.
Full text of the resolution is available here.