On the heels of the Supreme Court's controversial ruling that female employees could not bring a class-action sex discrimination suit against Wal-mart, lawmakers are reintroducing the Equal Rights Amendment. If the Amendment passes, the U.S. Constitution will explicitly ban gender discrimination.
Democrats Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) reintroduced the 88-year-old amendment at an event just outside the Capitol today.
In a press release, Maloney explained:
The Equal Rights Amendment is still needed because the only way for women to achieve permanent equality in the U.S. is to write it into the constitution ... Making women’s equality a constitutional right—after Congress passes and 38 states ratify the ERA—would place the United States on record, albeit more than 200 years late, that women are fully equal in the eyes of the law.
Her words were echoed by Menendez who called it a "disgrace that American women are still not constitutionally guaranteed equal rights under the law."
First introduced in 1923, the ERA is considered one of the pioneer acts of the women's rights movement in the United States, even though it was never ratified. Today, the ERA currently has 160 co-sponsors including Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI), Chair of the Congressional Women's Caucus, reports Ms. magazine. According to The Hill, it has been reintroduced every year since it fell three votes short of ratification in 1982.
“The Wal-Mart case decided by the Supreme Court this week is a classic example of how far attitudes must still come. The facts of the case support the view that over a million women were systematically denied equal pay by the world’s largest employer," Maloney said in the release.