The issue under review is the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution of the United States of America, made in March 1972, from the historical and present-day legal perspectives. “From the very beginning, “equal rights” meant “ending special benefits” (Mansbridge, 2015), i.e. men and women would enjoy equal rights in every legally regulated sphere. Research on the ERA is of importance for historians (historic perspective), law professionals (lawyers), and politicians (law-making).
The topics of the origin and history are reviewed by Thomas Neale in his research “The Proposed Equal Rights Amendment: Contemporary Ratification Issues” (Neale, 2013). The ERA is analyzed at different periods of its existence and through the 30 years of its expiration. A comparative analysis of the ERA’s background and its current position are concluded with the arguments both justifying and denying its revival.
The issues of the historical aspect of the ERA, its origin, reaction of society to it, changes in legislation etc. are reviewed in “Why We Lost ERA” by James Mansbridge (Mansbridge, 2015) and support the Neale’s research.
Currently, the ERA is entering the Houses of Congress once again: senators argue it being essential to ratify due to “the economic disparities faced by women and the importance of a national effort to address them” (Davis, 2008). Martha Davis in “The Equal Rights Amendment: Then and Now” (Davis, 2008) provides arguments for the idea that the ERA would rather cause more disputes and debate over the sex inequality issue, than solve it.
Necessity of the ERA in the U.S. Constitution is revised by Lisa Baldez (Baldez et la., 2006), mentioning that if the courts are willing “to produce a larger number of equality-oriented outcomes, then an ERA is neither an impediment nor a constitutional redundancy”.
Introduction of ERA into the U.S. Constitution would create a clear definition of sex discrimination, would advance women in their rights and would improve the human rights standing in the U.S. The principle of equal rights should be affirmed in the Constitution in order not to get a rollback in women’s rights.
In conclusion, discussion of the ERA in historical and present-day legal perspectives with the historians, law professionals and politicians could cause particular miscomprehension issues, because of the specific legal terminology. It should be explained to the participants of the discussion.