Skip to comments.Fems and Dems Say Scalia’s Remarks Make Passing ERA Essential (title shortened)
Posted on 01/07/2011 5:43:33 AM PST by markomalley
Several House and Senate Democrats joined feminists at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday to push for the introduction and passage of a constitutional amendment guaranteeing womens rights.
The conference was timed to coincide with the reading of the U.S. Constitution on the House floor, as ordered by the newly elected Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Recently, Supreme Court Justice (Antonin) Scalia stated his opinion that no provision in the Constitution, or the 14th amendment, would provide full and true equality to women and give them protection against sex discrimination, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said. He also said that if laws were enacted sanctioning discrimination, they would be constitutional.
Scalia, in a recent magazine interview, said it's the job of lawmakers, not the Constitution, to reflect the wishes of an evolving society: "Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't," Scalia said in the interview with California Lawyer magazine.
"If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don't need a Constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) also objected to Scalia's remarks. When you hear the Constitution being read today [on the House floor], what you will not hear is language specifically guaranteeing women equal protection under the law. Scalia's remarks, the senator said, show that Scalia "interprets the Constitution to contain no equal protection for women. In other words, he may not be predisposed to protect the rights of women when gender discrimination cases come before the Supreme Court of the United States.
According to Menendez, Justice Scalias recent comments have made it crystal clear that until equal protection for women is explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, the courts might not guarantee it. He plans to introduce the Equal Rights Amendment in the Senate along with Maloneys introduction of a similar bill in the House.
Maloney and Menendez and others at the press conference were referring to a Q&A with Justice Scalia published this month by California Lawyer magazine. Scalia was interviewed by U.C. Hastings Law Professor Calvin Massey, who asked Scalia about his belief in an enduring Constitution instead of one that is evolving -- and what that means to him.
In its most important aspects, the Constitution tells the current society that it cannot do [whatever] it wants to do, Scalia said. It is a decision that the society has made that in order to take certain actions, you need the extraordinary effort that it takes to amend the Constitution.
Now if you give to those many provisions of the Constitution that are necessarily broad -- such as due process of law, cruel and unusual punishments, equal protection of the laws -- if you give them an evolving meaning so that they have whatever meaning the current society thinks they ought to have, they are no limitation on the current society at all, Scalia said.
If the cruel and unusual punishments clause simply means that today's society should not do anything that it considers cruel and unusual, it means nothing except, To thine own self be true, he said.
Massey's next question in the interview focused on the 14th amendment. He asked Scalia: In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don't think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we've gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both?
Scalia answered, Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that. ... But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that's fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't. Nobody ever thought that that's what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don't need a Constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box.
You don't like the death penalty anymore, that's fine, said Scalia. You want a right to abortion? There's nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn't mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it's a good idea and pass a law. Thats what democracy is all about. It's not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.
At Thursdays Capitol Hill press conference, some participants mocked both Scalia and the reading of the Constitution on the House floor.
John Boehner and his cronies are holding up the U.S. Constitution as a sacred, perfect document, Terry ONeill, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), said in a statement distributed to reporters.
ONeills statement said the feminists' press conference was held to highlight the fact that women still are not fully protected in our nations Constitution.
We are way past due for a constitutional amendment explicitly acknowledging womens rights in the United States, ONeill said. Nothing less will do, as long as sexists like Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia feel completely justified interpreting womens rights as unprotected in the U.S. Constitution.
At the same time, participants cited the 14th amendment's equal protection language as evidence that women are protected under the Constitution and that Scalias opinion that sex discrimination would be constitutional is wrong.
This would come as a great surprise to the majority of American women and many like-minded men who believe we are covered by the Constitution, Maloney said, referring to Section 1 of the 14th amendment, which says: No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of the law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Justice Scalia has said that women have no rights, said Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.), who co-chairs the Congressional Womens Caucus. It is deeply disturbing to hear the strict constructionist views of the Constitution that would go so far as to declare that women are not protected under the 14th amendment.
NOWs ONeill included Boehner in her condemnation of men in positions of power who she claims are against equality for women. She cited the Speakers opposition to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. As long as there are men in this country that keep women down, we have to have an explicit guarantee of equality in the Constitution, ONeill said.
Do they really understand how assinine it is to try to “outlaw discrimination”?
Do they want to be forced to date every man that asks them out, or asks for sex?
I think they just want to play pro football!
"The ERA was written in 1923 by Alice Paul, suffragist leader and founder of the National Woman's Party. She and the NWP considered the ERA to be the next necessary step after the 19th Amendment (affirming women's right to vote) in guaranteeing "equal justice under law" to all citizens.
The ERA was introduced into every session of Congress between 1923 and 1972, when it was passed and sent to the states for ratification. The seven-year time limit in the ERA's proposing clause was extended by Congress to June 30, 1982, but at the deadline, the ERA had been ratified by 35 states, leaving it three states short of the 38 required for ratification. It has been reintroduced into every Congress since that time."
Psst, girls. Men's rights are equally unprotected.
This is a direct result of the communist infiltration in out country. They break down our cohesive structure by break us into smaller and smaller sub categories. This makes us weaker as a nation. The 14th applies to all citizens. Are women not citizens? If women are a now to be considered something separate, the 14th is essentially no longer valid. Just what the communists want, a weaker and more divided US.
Simply amazing that these liars aren't immediately called on it.
Scalia said no such thing - he merely stated that the Constitution does not specifically address it. That means it is an issue that the States/People can decide.
I attend a Tuesday morning Bible Class. The last 5 or 6 books we’ve studied, mostly useless, have been by women.
Now, we’re supposed to study this book that’s a feminist look at women in the Bible.
The author got so mad at the apostle Paul when she was a teen, she cut some of his passages out of her Bible. Apparently, she hasn’t got past it. She decries people ‘like Rush Limbaugh’ and quotes Alan Alda as an authority on feminism.
But I did learn one thing. I’m planning to cut her introduction out of the book.
Guess what denomination I belong to.
OMG, are we back to where the loons were just funny or is this window dressing hoping we will waste energy on this fake issue BS rather than taking down the Regime?
Anyway, it all goes back to Genesis. Part of the curse was that the woman would desire the man’s role, but he would rule over her.
Someone really liked my post from yesterday.
It’s not that they’re not afraid to look like idiots,
it’s that they know they can lie and get away with it.
What is so anti-woman about that?
Hey, Western women, if it's so bad for women in Western society, where Christianity holds such an influence, why don't you move to say, Congo, and join the women there in their luxurious existence - beatings until sensless and gang rape in front of their children. Or, hang out in a Starbucks in Saudi Arabia with your ankle showing while speaking unsupervised with a man-not-your-dad-or-brother and see what happens.
If any Republican legislators have a little idle time, they might put through a quick resolution to rescind the ERA if their State previously passed it. Just slip it in between bills on a Friday evening.
Why was this NOT an issue when the ‘Rats were taking over the auto industry, the banks, the health care industry, etc. ?
Why is it such a burning issue NOW ?
Women create their own in-equality!!
They want to do lighter duties in a manufacturing atmosphere because ‘they are not as strong’ as men.
They want to refuse to lift anything heavy or bulky in an office setting-because they are wearing spike heels.
They insist on having their babies whenever they want & make the employer pay for it.
They want to NOT lose any seniority for these pregnancies- no matter how many kids are involved.
They want to be excused for every dentist trip-doctor visit-school program- parent/teacher meeting during dnormal work hours.
After working at a much lower than 100% effort, many women then cry ‘foul’ when they are not promoted the same as the men.
I have absolutely no sympathy for them.
DECIDE!!! Do you want a career or do you want kids???
These women are not entitled to any extra provisions to meet their ‘needs’.
Flame away-—I am female.