Constitutional Law

New Name, Less Chance for ERA


Twenty-five years after the Equal Rights Amendment failed to gain ratification, many doubt a new version of the measure will be successful.

“I do not see the kind of energized support that there was in the 1970s,” law professor Nathaniel Persily told the ABA Journal eReport. He teaches at the University of Pennsylvania’s law school.

The latest version of the measure, introduced last spring, is called the Women’s Equality Amendment. It says equal rights under law may not be denied or abridged by the federal government or states because of gender.

Persily says the U.S. Supreme Court has given women the kind of equal rights that would have been guaranteed by the constitutional amendment.

Opponents fear the amendment will expose women to the draft, a concern also aired in the 1970s.

“The concerns that are left are the ones that drive us politically insane,” says Diane H. Mazur, a law professor at the University of Florida.

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