A new—and illegal—attempt to pass the Equal Rights Amendment

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Jan 02, 2019

One cost, surely, of Donald Trump’s consistently ungentlemanly behavior was the loss of the Republican majority in the US House of Representatives in the November elections, which will take effect later this month. It is possible to affirm this judgment whatever one thinks of Trump’s actual policies.

And one result of the loss of the Republican majority in the House is the likelihood that the new Chair, Democrat Jerrold Nadler, will use his power to attempt to pass the so-called ERA—the Equal Rights Amendment. If you have dismissed the ERA as a failed attempt by a previous generation to enshrine abortion in the American Constitution, it is time to reconsider. Nadler and a host of allies prefer to pretend that the long-since-expired ratification period can be ignored, that all states which ever ratified the proposed amendment are still on board, that those states which rescinded their ratification are still bound by it, and that if just three more states agree to it now, the ERA will become part of the Constitution of the United States.

Perhaps the most succinct summary of politics in America over the past fifty years is that it has become a game in which due process has been either honored or ignored depending on which option would most benefit those who repudiate the natural law. This effort to revive the ERA in a totally illegal way is a fresh reminder of the need for political vigilance—even (or perhaps especially) in the age of Trump.

Bob Marshall, author of Reclaiming the Republic (which I reviewed a few months ago), tells the story of this bizarre but potentially effective strategy to write a host of grave evils into the American Constitution. It is born of the fear that in the foreseeable future our Supreme Court could conceivably consider overturning those judicial decisions in the 1970s which expanded the right to privacy to include the murder of children in the womb.

Prepare to oppose an illegal push for the ERA by reading Marshall’s analysis: “Reviving the Equal Rights Amendment to Keep Abortion Legal”.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: SPM - Jan. 06, 2019 3:27 AM ET USA

    It is a more complicated legal issue. There have been plausible legal arguments that the "time limit" was not legally binding for this proposed amendment, and in Coleman v Miller the Supreme Court held that only the current Congress can decide if a "time limit" has been exceeded. Unlikely with this current Congress, but if the 117th Congress says the time limit was not valid, then the ratification is valid.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Jan. 05, 2019 3:19 AM ET USA

    I agree with Randal Mandock. The Republican lack of support for one another, incredible spending by the Democrats with Soros support, ballot harvesting and failing to do the same as a counter, and likes of Paul Ryan and Flake and Kasich. The rise of the socialists and indoctrinated college youth and the media. All this impacted elections and flat out cheated many winners forcing turn overs particularly in California even in Republican strongholds.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jan. 02, 2019 7:06 PM ET USA

    While Trump's gruffness rubs neoconservatives the wrong way, I must disagree with your assessment that Trump is responsible for the GOP loss in November. In my opinion, the loss was due to a convergence of factors: (1) Obama's internet and door-to-door campaigning, (2) Paul Ryan's and fellow neocon's undermining of Trump at every turn, (3) the crying episode during the latest Supreme Court confirmation, (4) Soros' backing of Dem candidates in my state and elsewhere, (5) racial motivations.