Nevada, Congress, James Madison discussed on The Electorette Podcast


The states again. It's the system that we have of the federal government participating with the state governments and so three fourths Earth's of US states have to ratify any amendment in order for it to actually get into the constitution. And so what happened with the equal rights amendment is right away many states aids ratified it was on the platform of both political parties until Nineteen seventy-two wildly popular Picked up a lot of steam it was immediately ratified by many states and it got up to thirty five states unfortunately the number that's needed thirty. Eight not thirty five And so the deadline which was imposed used by Congress. They put a deadline seven-year deadline so the nineteen Seventy nine was set for the deadline. That deadline was extended by. Congress wants to nineteen eighty to and The equal rights amendment still fell three states short in one thousand nine hundred. I'm looking at the timeline. Now and like you said three fourths of the states have to ratify it. So that's thirty. Eight total and up until nineteen. So there was kind of a snowball effect until the late nineteen seventies and then in Indiana in nineteen seventy seventy just kind of stopped right and just curious that you know like what the cultural climate was that. I'm just thinking out loud. Like what the cultural. Hey it's kind of a wild moment in time. Because the women's rights movement was in full bloom in the early seventies You had marches for the Equal Rights Amendment Amendment In order to extend the deadline there were marches. Hundreds of thousands of people marched on Washington was a huge nationwide issue And there was wide support for changing the amendment. What changed how did it go from? You know rapidly getting thirty states to right away. Ratify it to slowing down while two things happened. One of the culture wars really picked up And a woman named Phyllis Schlafly who is One of the most powerful figures ears in American political life If not in those decades certainly even perhaps in the century she started a movement called stop. Era so she. She started organizing women to advocate against the IRA and the reason that was successful as they use a lot of scare tactics so they would say things like housewives. Swabs are going to be forced onto the front lines at the military dragged. Out of their homes You know they would. They would use the bathrooms argument. which was is even putting today but also at the time they use gay marriage so they was marriage equality? This is GonNa Cause Gay people to be able to get married so they use a lot of scare tactics in order to fight the equal rights amendment but also towards the end it was coming down to the state. The unratified state and a lot of the unratified states are places where women's rights are constantly under attack. Where where women are really falling behind? So you know there were fifteen states. That didn't ratify in twenty seventeen of this this incredible woman. Her name is Pat Spearman and she is a senator. She's a black preacher. A black preacher in Nevada and she essentially resurrected directed the rights amendment. She got the equal rights amendment ratified first time in thirty years anywhere that it had been ratified and she got it ratified in Nevada in twenty seventeen eighteen. And so this reignited the Movement for the Equal Rights Amendment people thought OK well states can still ratify today and then Illinois followed suit so Illinois Loyd ratified it in two thousand eighteen And then we had just one more state At this point we're almost to the thirty eight threshold required by the Constitution. And and that's really where we are today. The next most likely to state to ratify Virginia being currently brought up in the Virginia Senate and the Virginia House of delegates gets it almost passed in Virginia last year in two thousand nineteen so we are just a hair's breath away from getting that final thirty eighth state that is fascinating fascinating. I didn't know the history about Nevada. I didn't I didn't know that in two thousand seventeen. I knew the twin in Nevada. The I keep saying Nevada Nevada. I'm not really sure added in Nevada so a Tina Vada I knew that it was ratified in two thousand seventeen but I did not know the history and now that I'm looking at it. That is pretty remarkable from nineteen. Seventy seven Indiana being the last state to ratify to two thousand seventeen so that that was. That was huge. I'm I'm assuming that if she had not done this people would probably forgotten you know our immune some people who never forgot there were people fought for the equal rights amendment all that time who were advocating in the states who never really gave up on the dream of having an amendment for in the Constitution to protect women But it was largely forgotten and efforts in the women's movement sort of went to other other causes and other issues but there were some women who never forgot and and constantly advocated. What really one of the things that kind of brought the equal rights amendment back onto the table is the twenty seven th amendment so the most recent amendment to the constitution is called the Madison Amendment It was proposed by James Madison has to do with congressional pay. It was proposed by James Madison. But it wasn't ratified edified until the early nineteen nineties. So two hundred and three years later a particularly agitated gentlemen in Texas decided that he was going to create a movement to ratify the the Madison Amendment and it did get ratified so people who are in the Ra movement. Were looking around and thinking way. Okay okay it. Two Hundred Years can pass. An amendment can still make it into the constitution. Additional states than thirty years is not too much then we can still bill agitate and we can still get this amendment that we've always wanted so the equal rights amendment would be the twenty eighth amendment to the Constitution. You know and and again I am endlessly fascinated by women who uphold harmful patriarchal norms. Like this Phyllis Shave with. I just can't I can't wrap my brain around around super interesting character. She's very talented. If you watch debates with her it's fascinating because she debated waited some of the most prominent people in the women's movement at the time and she really honestly wipes the floor with them like she is always more prepared. She's very very intelligent. She's always on point. She is a very very fascinating and talented woman The problem is of course she always gets blamed with the defeat of the equal rights amendment. But for me. I think it's important to remember. That sure. She was the face of it but she she ran for Congress twice and she lost both time. I'm so she never actually voted against the equal rights amendment. The people who voted against the equal rights amendment were meant. They needed cover. They needed to say that that it was just a fight women against women but it was not the people who kept it out of Congress where men the people in the state legislatures to this day. In some of the states where the amendment have not been ratified have eighty percent men in their legislatures. Even the Federal Conver- Congress today The vast majority are men so the actual the people who are truly keeping us from constitutional equality are not women She she really put a face to it and she organized and she helped defeat feet the equal rights amendment but the end of the day the decision makers the people who had power the elected officials were met. I'm glad you said that that. That's that's a really excellent point because representation matters and it seems like that that repeats itself throughout history that you know women often. I see that a lot happening with Nancy Pelosi in a lot of other examples we can think go where you know. The name is wrapped around women. When we love our favorite exactly I I mean the things she did are very very sad the way that she changed the conversation at first it seemed like it was women against men in power but she inserted herself into the conversation in a way that made it seem like it was just a difference of opinion among women and that is not true Also she is not the one who would benefit from keeping the equal rights amendment out of the Constitution that is men who directly benefit from not having us on equal. WHOA stature so I I I always hesitate to blame things like this on women She's a fascinating figure and an important person in the movement but it is it is not her fault she never won election show. She never actually got to vote against the cement right not to mention that men can't alone pick up this fight right right and it is the right thing to do regardless of what your gender at scores.

Coming up next