Letter: Don’t start over on the ERA

(Steve Griffin | Tribune file photo) ERA supporters stand behind Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, as he reintroduces resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendments during a press conference at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, Feb. 6, 2017.

On Nov. 5, Robert Sleight asked why we continue to fight for ratification versus starting fresh on a new Equal Rights Amendment. He may be right about the deadline, but we can remove it.

Mr. Sleight cited Idaho v. Freeman, where the Supreme Court declined to act because the Congressionally imposed time limit had expired. However, the Court also expressed concern with a state legislature attempting to define the amendment powers of Congress.

Additional cases, such as Coleman v. Miller (1939), address the power of Congress to act once full ratification has occurred. And Dillon v. Gloss (1921) found that amendments carry a necessity or urgency that make it nearly seamless for them to take effect upon ratification.

If Congress can extend the deadline, it can remove the deadline altogether. Article V of the Constitution leaves the amendment process up to Congress.

A bipartisan bill, S.J. Res. 6, is currently before Congress seeking to do just that. Utah’s own Sen. Mike Lee is on the Judiciary Committee where the bill sits.

We are too close to the finish line to start the race over, with only one state needed to ratify. There should be no deadline on equality for over 50% of Americans. Don’t start over—just start calling Senators Lee and Romney to support women’s rights to full equality.

Kelly Whited Jones, North Salt Lake

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