Unintended Consequences

“I don’t think we should add this amendment because we don’t know what will happen and there could be unintended consequences.”

  • The simplicity of the Equal Rights Amendment and our nation’s long history of prohibiting government classifications on the basis of race, national origin, and religion mean there is little room for “unintended consequences.” The Equal Rights Amendment merely adds gender to this list of prohibited classifications. Other constitutional rights would remain intact, as shown by the numerous court cases evaluating alleged discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, or religion.
  • Equality under the law is a core American value. Adopting an amendment calling for equal treatment under the law will manifest this core American value, not bring about an apocalyptic change. The Equal Rights Amendment does not confer special rights. It simply prohibits the United States or any state from denying or abridging equality of rights under the law on account of gender.
  • For those who support Congressional action to assure women equality of rights under the law, failure to act continues the country’s current path of unintended consequences for not ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. For example, the Supreme Court struck the civil remedy provision of the Violence Against Women Act on the ground that Congress lacked the constitutional authority to enact it. The Equal Rights Amendment would give Congress the authority required to enact legislation protecting women’s rights.