tv House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on Equal Rights Amendment CSPAN May 2, 2019 8:00pm-10:13pm EDT
thank you. committees subcommittee on the constitution's civil liberties and civil rights now in session will come to order. without objection the chair is authorized to do call a recess of the committee at this time. i welcome everyone to today's hearing on the equal rights amendment. i will first recognize myself for opening statements. i am pleased today to be at
this hearing for the purpose of carrying out one of the subcommittees most important functions, the consideration of amendment to the united states constitution. the purpose of the era is simple but critical guaranteeing women are treated equally under the law . the era was in fact approved both house and senate nearly half a century ago. in 1971 and 1972 it passed with overwhelming margins. the constitution instructs after proposed amendment receives the required two thirds vote in each of the houses it has to be ratified by three quarters of the state. after was sent in 72 it was ratified by 35 of the necessary 38 state legislatures but for decades that progress towards equality stalled. a well organized counter movement scared the american people into equality what harm women who stay home to raise
their children and would erode american families. what started as broad consensus became another divisive issue in the culture wars. today we know better we know the year 2019 is unacceptable that women still aren't paid equal wages for equal work. we know when women are treated with equal dignity and respect in the workplace and home our institutions of government and society at large all of society stands to benefit. we know there is a fundamental guarantee of equality should be welcomed rather than feared. at the same time women have an equal place under the law and our nation's constitution. while women have achieved some measure of equal status under the 14th amendment that progress is fragile. as the supreme court has moved to the right it could backtrack fundamental decisions as it has in other areas jeopardizing the strides women have made. meanwhile there are politics and in culture undermining women's
status in our society whether it is by threatening healthcare, objectifying women in the workplace, or ignoring or condoning gender-based violence. in the face of those challenges i am by the panels and the extraordinary attendance we have here today. your presence demonstrates that the march towards equality is a live alive and well. i am also proud to have two of my colleagues my colleague rep. carolyn maloney and rep. jackie speier who will be speaking today. they have introduced two different propositions to get the equal rights amendment rolling again. rep. carolyn maloney worked tirelessly as an advocate for the new era and rep. jackie speier has introduced a resolution guaranteeing the 72 era is not subject to a ratification deadline. their efforts have an sure the unfinished business of the equal rights amendment is not forgotten and i am proud to be a sponsor of both measures. our chairman has championed this issue had and has worked
closely and i think the chairman for his efforts. we are joined by two stars of show business, maybe more but at least two i know of. ms. patricia arquette and alysia milano. ms. malan if you would write to be recognized i would appreciate it. thank you. i think it is appropriate we have these two giant industry with us because one of the best plays on broadway today is a play heidi schreck wrote called the constitution in me. it is about a powerful play about the constitution. justice douglas emphasizing women, choice and the era.
thank you all in the industry working to see that we move forward on this issue. a few years ago a great woman, a great person justice ruth bader ginsburg was asked what amendment she would most like to see added to the united states constitution and she said it would be the equal rights amendment. as she explained the era means, women are people equal and stature before the law and that principals in every constitution written since the second world war. she said she would like her granddaughters when they pick up the constitution to see that it is a basic principle of our society. i understand it is a possibility that justice ginsburg is watching this hearing today and just to channel, justice ginsburg if you are listening era.
i look forward to the discussion among today's witnesses. now i will recognize the ranking member, my friend and colleague. [ indiscernible - low volume ] >> thank you mr. chairman and for all of you being here. this is an important part of our democracy and system and your voices are important. equal rights amendment the so- called era was introduced in 1923. i know you all know the history. it was passed on to the states by congress in 1972 , ironically the year i was born mr. chairman. it wasn't ratified by its expiration. in 1983 the era was reintroduced as it had to be following its failure be ratified before the congressional deadline. the deadline was exclusively relied upon by the states. it was the subject of five hearings in the house subcommittee on civil and constitutional rights, including one hearing called i
the minority. it was last debated november 9, 1983. it has been quite a while. it was later brought up on the house floor at air suspension of rules which no amendments are allowed and that was 20 minutes of debate time, each was allocated to proponents and opponents. the era subsequently failed to pass the house of representatives by the two thirds vote. today to subcommittee hold another hearing on the e.r.a. which as we will hear will have to be passed by congress and the states under the constitution's super majority requirements before it becomes a part of the constitution. it should not become a part of the constitution many of us believe for a number of reasons including this one. the bipartisan amendment prohibits the use of federal funding for portions except and in cases of , incest or when the life of a mother is in danger. the supreme court upheld those amendments of abortion as constitutional but the people's right to protect the unborn would be eliminated if era were
to pass. back in the early 1980s representatives representative congresses research service provide the committee with its own evaluation of the question. as he said at the 1983 markup, the executive summary of the report says under strict scrutiny the pregnancy classification in the amendment would be regarded to be a sex classification under the era. meaning if the era were to become part of the law restrictions on abortion would automatically be struck out. today with the benefit of more recent history we can see the concerns of the representative in 1983 were justified. five years later in 1988 colorado supreme court held that colorado's era and stay constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. 10 years later in 1998 the supreme court of new mexico took the next step and relied on new mexico state level tranxiv to strike down that
restricted state funding of abortions for medicaid eligible women. in new mexico they choose right to choose -- johnson. by the amendment nor the federal authority upholding the constitutionality of that amendment bar this court from affording greater protection of the rights of medicaid eligible women under our state constitution in this instance. the article guarantees the quality of rights under law shall not be denied on account of the sex of any person. we construe the court says the intent of this amendment as providing something be on that already awarded by the general language in the protection clause. was recently pro-choice america any march 13 2019 national alert admitted their belief that the equal rights amendment would quote reinforce the constitutional right to abortion, require judges to strike down antiabortion laws unquote. of course we all believe, i'm
the father of two daughters one of which is in the room this morning that women should be protected from discrimination based solely on their sex, and that is the law today. the supremes of court supreme court has ratcheted up since the 1980s. the court stated parties who seek to defend gender-based government action must demonstrate an exceedingly persuasive justification for that action. the court also stated the burden of justification is demanding and rests entirely on the state. as a just as noted in his concurrence the court had in effect made the governments more burden worse than it was previously. the justice pointed out the standard governing review of the governments actions of the discrimination based on sex the have been previously in place was quote a standard that lies between the extremes of rational basis review and
strict scrutiny. we have denominated this intermediate scrutiny and have inquire whether the statutory classification is substantially related to important governmental of active. yet the justice pointed out the majority in that case had executed a de facto abandonment of the intermediate scrutiny that has been our standard for sex-based classifications for decades. it was replaced with an even higher standard which is the law today. the majority opinion it should be noted was written by justice ruth bader ginsburg and hello justice if you are watching as. in the 1970s she was involved in the preparation of a report published by the commission on civil rights in 1977 that supported the federal era along with its ramifications. if it is adopted it would include the elimination of the terms maternity -- integration of single-sex organizations among many other things and i think most americans today would probably object to.
with that we look forward to the hearing from our witnesses today and respect your voices and glad you are part of the process. i yield. >> thank you mr. johnson. i was a friend of college william dawson larry somehow your cousin or uncle or someone a long time ago. smart good guy. so is your father. i now recognize the full committee chairman, the great congressman from the great state of new york the empire state mr. nadler. >> thank you for that introduction mr. chairman. thank you for convening this critical hearing. first it was proposed nearly 100 years ago who helped lead the campaign to secure women's rights to vote which terminated the passage of the 19th amendment. she and the other courageous women that led that movements and recognize ratification of
women's suffrage was only the start. they knew if women were to achieve true quality equality the nations document had to be amended to reflect back or principal. alec alice's call to this was introduced in 1923. 96 years later the united states constitution still does not explicitly declare that women have equal rights under the law . we have made important strides in large part thanks to the brilliant legal strategy by justice ruth bader ginsburg and the courts have recognized the amendment prohibits many forms of outright discrimination. internally ways women's rights have begun to slide backwards in recent years. this administration continues to threaten women's health and safety on almost a daily basis whether it is trying to rollback laws that prohibits health insurers from charging more to women just for being female or by allowing's allowing women's healthcare choices to be dictated by their employers religious beliefs.
women still only earn $.80 per every dollar that men earn and women of color even less and they have uneven protections against other forms of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. with these facts in mind, and i would add my written text i will go off script for a moment we have a supreme court that has been so sympathetic when congress passed the pregnancy discrimination act in 1978 the supreme court has determined it was to mean if you behaved decently toward other employees you had to behaved easily towards pregnant women but if you are terrible to other employees you could be terrible to pregnant women and they don't need consideration. with these disturbing facts in mind it is clear a equal rights amendment is more important than ever. members of congress debated it from the 1920s through the 1970s with the issue remaining dormant in recent years making this hearing long-overdue.
in 1971 and 72 the era was passed with overwhelming margins containing these simple words. equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the united states or any state on account of sex. one would think that shouldn't be terribly controversial. in the years that followed dozens of states ratified the era through their legislatures. by the end of the 70s it was a few states short of full ratification but then progress stalled . thankfully due in large part to the hard work of several witnesses here today the momentum has picked back up. the effort was led in the legislature and illinois followed suit last year. meanwhile women have been elected to office in unprecedented numbers including here in this congress. now for the first time ever more than 100 women are serving
in the united states house of representatives, 106 in fact. some of the women who were part of this wave are on the subcommittee and they are helping to lend their voices to the critical effort to ratifying the era. in addition the resolution introduced to this congress by rep. jackie speier with 185 cosponsors would inshore era can become law if and when it is ratified. although there is debate about the mechanisms determining whether sufficient amounts of states have ratified the era i hope there is no debate about the need for enshrining in the constitution the clear and firm statement guaranteeing women equal rights under the law. we are on the verge of a great in this country despite all of the obstacles in our current political and social climate. adopting the era would bring our country closer to fulfilling our values of inclusion and equal opportunity for all people. i think the witnesses for their participation including my colleagues, the gentleman from
gentle women from california and who have both been champions and have brought us to this this morning. i look forward to their testimony and the testimony of all of our distinguished witnesses. >> thank you mr. chairman. we welcome our witnesses and thank them for participating today. please note your written statements will be entered into the record in their entirety but your oral statements will be limited to five minutes. to stay with that limit there are lights on the table and when the light switches from green to yellow you will have one minute remaining to give your testimony. when it turns red you are over. before proceeding with the testimony i want to remind each witness all of your written and oral statements made to the subcommittee are subject to penalties of perjury pursuant to u.s. code which may result in the imposition of a fine or imprisonment up to five years or both. on our first panel today our
first witness is rep. carolyn maloney. she represents the 12th congressional district of new york . she's been a member of congress since 1993 and among her many accomplishments she is the lead sponsor of the resolution which proposes a new equal rights amendment. rep. carolyn maloney you are recognized and if you don't mind i will cut you off for three minutes but i will cut you off if you take eight. thank you. >> thank you so much both chairman, i can't tell you what this means to me personally. today although there are two bills in front of congress today we are focusing on rep. jackie speier's bill , mine is a fallback bill so i feel it is appropriate that jackie should go first. this is her bill we are reviewing today. >> i will not argue with you, i will recognize our first witness as i earlier said rep.
jackie speier. >> okay. >> thank you. >> she represents the 14th district and she's been the lead sponsor of the which would remove the ratification deadline. you have the rule as well. >> thank you and thanks to you and chairman nadler for this extraordinary historic opportunity for all of us to speak on the era. 36 years since congress had a hearing on this issue that effects every single woman and man in this country. i want to thank the era coalition cofounders and copresidents and the president, actors and activists patricia arquette and alyssa milano. this has been a lifetime campaign for many of us , a lifetime campaign. it doesn't start in 1923
actually, we have been an afterthought in this country since the beginning of this country. back in 1776 when then congressman john adams was going to work on the constitution it was his wife abigail adams who said, remember the women. we want you to finally remember the women. without constitutional protection pay disparities will continue to be allowed in this country. because of the high obstacle of showing that there is intent to discriminate in order for a woman to prevail in court. this is real. 50% of the major breadwinners in families today are women with children. it is time for us to take this issue seriously.
mr. johnson let me say, this is not a stalking horse for abortion, this is pure and simple 54 words we want to add to the constitution of the united states because every other industrialized country in the world already has it in there their constitution except the united states of america. i and the cosponsor of the resolution which is a bipartisan joint resolution cosponsored by 185 members of the house of representatives including senator ben cardin on the senate side. this resolution removes the arbitrary deadline on the preamble of the original constitutional amendment. it recognizes the congress is fully within its right to adopt a new deadline as it has in the past or to remove it altogether. i also want to recognize the congresswoman rep. carolyn maloney's resolution to ratify the era and something i endorse. we work hand in hand. because of the absence of era and has left a stain on our
constitution and country. nations have looked to the united states to model their constitution to recognize the equality of men and women yet we fail to do the same work it is frankly an embarrassment. an amendment that wasn't supported by republicans and democrats under president nixon, carter have been used to divide our country and it has allowed critics to claim there is no need for the era. in the words of the late supreme court justice antonin scalia who said, certainly the constitution does not require discrimination based on sex, the only issue is whether it prohibits it. it does not. that should send chills down the spine of each and every one of us. discrimination is not prevented against women in the constitution of the united states. i will just say mr. chairman i've already exceeded my time, i will just end by saying, we
need era so we can join the rest of the industrialized countries in the world and not be bringing up the rear as we are presently doing. we need era so we can achieve our full economic and social potential. we will no longer allow ourselves to be an afterthought. we need the era now. >> thank you congresswoman and i can't not mention the remarks the follow-up to your remarks. it took over 100 years to get women a right to vote in the constitution and tennessee was the state to do so. i now recognize rep. carolyn maloney . >> thank you for sharing that and thank you chairman nadler and ranking members. most of all i want to thank all of the advocate and champions who have been working on this
issue for years trying to pass and ratify equal rights amendment. first i would like to respond to mr. johnson, with all due respect the equal rights amendment has nothing to do with abortion. it has to do with the quality of rights, most of which is economic and respect. it has nothing to do with abortion and saying so is divisive and a tool to try to defeat it so please don't ever say that again. first of all i want to thank my very good friend and colleague rep. jackie speier for her leadership . by having both my bill to restart the process and her bill to extend the deadline on the original process
recovering we are covering all of our bases. some have called the era a symbol , and keep in mind some symbols are important like the statue of liberty or the american flag. guess it is a symbol but women need much much more than a symbol. we need respect. we need fairness. we need to be in the constitution, not having a era has real consequences for real women. we cannot enforce equal pay for equal work unless the era is in the constitution banning discrimination. it is that simple. there are numerous court decisions that show the need for the era and here is one . in 1994 congress passed a landmark violence against women act recognizing that our laws had not been keeping women safe and taking new steps to protect
women. the supreme court ruled the law was not allowed by congress's constitutional power to regulate commerce, even though violence against women has enormous impact on our economy. a woman who was and everyone agreed it had happened and everyone knew who did it, she could not sue to recover damages for what she went through. she was not protected by our constitution. take the even more horrific example, female genital mutilation as barbaric as it is up to 100,000 girls are potentially subject to this practice in america. congress passed a law making it illegal but a federal court in michigan overruled it and the current department of justice has failed to appeal it. apparently they believe it was not congress's place to protect
american women and girls. our rights cannot be subjected to the political whims of legislators, judges, or occupants of the white house. our equality is inherent and must be guaranteed. women are long past due equal treatment under the law and we will not be satisfied until it is guaranteed in stone. the drumbeat for the equal rights amendment has never been louder. since 20 17 millions of women around the country are marching, two more states nevada and illinois ratified the era and the me too movements have shined the light on the discrimination that persists in this country. more than 100 women were elected to congress. women are not waiting anymore. we demand what is right for equality now. we demand it be spelled out in
the constitution and you know how to spell it, era now. thank you. i yield back and thank you for this extraordinary historic opportunity to address the judiciary committee especially since you have so much more to do. >> thank you to each of our congresswomen we thank you for your work. we will now have our second panel come up and be introduced.
school and she taught constitutional law at stanford and harvard. she has argued 11 times before the supreme court and author of a scholar on women's equality. she was a marshall scholar and serve the court of appeal second circuit. dean sullivan you are recognized for five minutes. >> [ indiscernible - low volume ] chairman nadler got chairman cohen ranking members thank you so much for the honor of allowing me to testify today in support of the equal rights amendment which would add to our constitution to guarantee that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the united states or any state on account of sex.
it would also provide that congress has the power to enforce the amendment by appropriate legislation. as noted by rep. carolyn maloney and rep. jackie speier in their eloquent remarks, the united states constitution the rules oldest written constitution is also the only major written constitution in the world that lacks a provision declaring men and women are equal. now is the chance to correct that omission, that stain, that embarrassment about our constitution through the ratification by one more state of the 1972 amendment. to give some examples the french constitution provides that the law guarantees to the woman in all spheres rights equal to those of men. the german constitution provides that men and women have equal rights and that nobody shall be prejudice or favored because of their sex. the constitution of india
provides the state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds of sex and every written constitution since world war ii contains a sexy quality provision but not ours. given the vital role of the united states constitution has played in inspiring and informing written constitutions of other nations this is a situation that cries out for correction. you might ask, why do we need a equal rights amendment when the united states supreme court has interpreted the equal protection clause in the aftermath of the civil war and erasing the stain of slavery from our existence and declare equal protections above all for purposes of preventing race discrimination, why is it not enough sex discrimination has been a shoe worn into the equal protection clause through judicial interpretation? make no mistake, the decisions that were brought about the
supreme court through justice ruth bader ginsburg as a young woman working with other young women and men to bring those interpretations, make no mistake those decisions were momentous and important but they are no substitute for having a equal rights amendment in the constitution . the decisions of the supreme court do not have the strength, endurance or efficacy of an express constitutional amendment. they are the product of shifting judicial majorities. we the people speak through our constitution with more permanence than any court majority through its decisions as we make clear four times in history. we passed amendments overruling decisions of the supreme court. this nation should proclaim fidelity to the foundational principle of sex equality that will indoor for the ages to come and not turn on vicissitudes of supreme court appointments. i would like to make the point
that this congress absolutely has the power to clear away any impediment that the deadline imposed in the 1970s might be imposed through matt ratification by one more state, just one more state and here is why. i want you to hear three conservative principles of interpretation in making this argument. pastoralism, ritualism and federalism. first the text of article 5 provides the congress when two thirds of votes shall deem it necessary shall propose amendments to the constitution which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the constitution ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states. article 5 they text phrases note places no time limits on the ratification process. nothing says ratification must be contemporaneous or bounded with any particular timeframe
and to the contrary article 5 says valid when it ratified and that is the end of the matter. second our history confirms this much, the 27th amendment, which prevents congressional pay raises until election of the house, was proposed by james madison. that was proposed in 19 1879 no one questions the the 27th amendment isn't an amendment to the constitution and what is good enough for james madison is good enough for the women of america. finally in addition to the text in history our structure supports the idea that congress can remove any impediment of the state ratification when the 38 states decide to join. they split the atom of summer teen in two and the states have independence and article 5 gives the state the balance to
ratify inconsistence with federalism. congress -- lacking authority to better the ratification process and certainly as having the authority to lift its own self-imposed deadlines. for those reasons i respectfully urge the resolution proposed by rep. jackie speier is proper, constitutional and merits markup and adoption by the house. thank you very much. >> thank you so much. university tennessee college law where she was an article editor of the tennessee law review and was a valedictorian of her class. had how come you didn't intern
for me? professor foley you are welcome as a volunteer. >> thank you chairman and ranking member thank you. i think this is an important issue. as someone that has taught constitutional law and practiced i am going to focus on procedural aspects to the amendment process. i'm not going to opine on the merit of the era. i am a woman and don't have any particular expertise on that matter and you probably have better witnesses who can do so. we have 27 constitutional amendments as everyone knows. the longest one for ratification was, other than the 27th which i will talk about, it was the 22nd which deals with presidential term limits. that amendment took a whopping three years 340 days for
ratification. the medicine amendment, the 27th amendment is an outlier and it was one of james madison's original 12 proposed articles to the first congress, 10 of them made it out as the bill of rights. the medicine amendment was ratified in 1992 with 203 years ratifying it. that was only possible because in keeping with congresses tradition, at least until the 18th amendment in 1917 the medicine amendment like all of the amendments until the 18th contained absolutely no express ratification deadline. it is used as some sort of precedent for the ratification of the era today, the originally 1972 which was proposed to congress is limited. congress did have a seven year express ratification deadline for the era that was proposed
in 1972 . in fact some people think, maybe it is because era's seven year ratification deadline is contained in the preamble rather than the text that has legal significance. i see absolutely no basis for that argument. in fact that argument was made in a case called idaho versus freeman which was decided by the federal district court in 1981 and was roundly rejected. i am not here to argue that freeman has the presidential value because it was vacated by the supreme court because it's challenge to the three-year extension to the ratification became moot by the time the supreme court got the case and therefore the supreme court decided to vacate that district court opinion. however the rationale and analytical framework used by the district court is a good one and i think any court asked to decide the issue today would decide it the same way. let me explain why. the district court in freeman
hung its hat essentially on a 1921 decision of the supreme court called dylan versus gloss. it was a unanimous supreme court decision and it is still good today. the dillon court basically dealt with the 18th amendment the prohibition amendment. mr. dylan was convicted under a federal prohibition law and said, you can't convict me because the 18th amendment itself is unconstitutional. he said the 18th amendment is unconstitutional because it had a ratification deadline, again it was the first one to have one. he said congress can't impose a seven year ratification deadline , it did and therefore the constitution is null and void. the supreme court unanimously said, no it is not and they said certainly congress has the power to impose a ratification deadline if it wants to. specifically the supreme court said congress's power to impose a ratification deadline derives from its article 5 power to propose a mode of ratification
and because this is part of congresses article 5 power to propose a constitutional amendment and not congresses article 1 power, which is ordinary legislation, the reasonable implication from that rationale is that if congress imposes ratification deadline, that ratification deadline is part of the mode of the ratification and it must be passed pursuant to article 5 by two thirds a super majority and not simple majority as is ordinary legislation. for this reason when the 95th congress reported to extend the ratification deadline by an additional three years it was likely unconstitutional because it was passed by a simple majority resolution of both chambers and signed by president carter. any attempt at third bite at the apple to extending the ratification deadline yet again would likely be
unconstitutional. finally in closing it is notable there has been no amendment that has ever been ratified outside of congresses original express ratification deadline and there have been eight of those amendments by the way. the era would be the first. if it is ratified under another majoritarian congressional extension the amendment would be birthed under a shadow of constitutional illegitimacy and that is not good for those who support gender equality or seek societal consensus on that effort. indeed it broadens consensus for the era why not start fresh? then there could be no doubt. thank you. >> senator spearman representing nevada. she currently serves as co-
majority. becoming the first day to ratify the amendment there she received her masters from the seminary of southwest. senator spearman. >> thank you and good morning chairman and ranking member johnson. i represent senate district one for the great state of nevada and it is an honor to be here to discuss the equal rights amendment here are march 22 2017 45 years after the era was submitted to congress nevada became the first state to ratify the era after the expiration of the june 30 deadline. the state of illinois followed with ratification on may 30. it is my privilege to sponsor a joint resolution supporting nevada's ratification in 2017. with this resolution one of the questions always asks, is the
era necessary and i continue to see evidence of the need for the era every day . in 1997 an article they concluded that the need for a federal equal rights amendment remains a compelling as compelling today as it was in 1978. justice ruth bader ginsburg wrote in the harvard law journal that with the equal rights amendment congress and state legislators will undertake and systematically and pervasively a law so long deferred and the courts will have an unattainable basis to apply for all men and women are created equal. pay equity or maybe i should say pay in equity is still a significant concern. all of the although the gender pay gap is narrowing women of the united states earn 80% of
what their male counterparts earn. women of color black women typically make only 60% and latinos make only 50% of what white non-hispanic male counterparts make. a common theme of workforce issues for women is the lack of paid leave and affordable childcare. in nevada the legislature is trying to consider a measure that would require a private employer with 50 or more employees to provide paid leave to each employee, just last week the nevada senate passed senate bill 166 to and sure equal pay for equal work and penalize employees who practice pay discrimination. the nevada assembly will hear the bill soon and i anticipate it will pass as well. the governor said he intends to make pay equity the law in nevada and our state will have a pay equity law. moreover when it comes to crimes against women we continue to suffer from victim blaming such as shame, stigma and guilt upon
the female the them. the civil rights act of 1964 prohibits implement discrimination based on race, sex, color or origin. the eeoc saw a 13% increase of workers alleging sexual harassment from 2017 through 2018. to begin the journey of addressing discrimination and harassment in nevada we had a have a governor's task force to reduce harassment in the executive branch. the legislature became the first female majority legislature in the country in nevada. women now hold 51% of the 60 -- 63 legislative seats and the number legislative seats nationally also increased. we celebrate the fact that
congress has 23% more women but the struggle continues and the work is not done. mr. chair and members of the subcommittee when era first gained popularity in the late 1960s and 1970s it was heard as a call for change just as the change continues for racial equality, fairness and justice some 154 years after adoption of the 13th amendment. the word for change they has become a call to act responsibly in a manner that ensures equity for all of its citizens. mr. chairman and members of the subcommittee i am before you today because i believe the foundations of the era for all people and restricting a time limit it can be found in a resolving clause as you have already heard. now is the time to show the local neighborhoods we as americans, we as americans to
show the neighborhoods when it comes to equality we lead for all. equality for justice has never been given never. each generation has always had to fight for equal justice and equal rights they so deserve. vietnam veterans persistent to get healthcare recognition, persistence faith and hope hold the spirit of this movement and we must honor the sacrifices of our mothers and grandmothers. we must commit to the preservation of justice and equality. mr. chairman and subcommittee we got tired but we didn't faints. we became weary but we did not stop. history demands we take a stand on this most important journey towards full equality. we stand on the right side of history. we must persist in the name of all that is good, the road is long and it has been twist and turns but we must continue to
get the equal rights amendment as part of our constitution. thank you for your time and attention. patricia arquette is our academy award-winning actress with a distinguished acting career dating back to the 1980s. hollywood's leading advocacy for equal rights. you might have mentioned the e.r.a. you received a reward. you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you chairman nadler, chairman common, ranking members and congresswomen spear and maloney for your tireless work on the e.r.a. and to the members of the committee. i come here not as a constitutional lawyer but as a citizen as an american woman to advocate for what i feel is critical for our country. i come with the goodwill and the faith that when we examine the reality of women in
america today and remember the historic injustices women have faced in our country, we will all feel compelled to do what we must to ensure that women are afforded every legal right to equal protection in our country. women have waited 232 years to be enshrined as full and equal citizens, why? because in 1787 women were left out of the constitution intentionally. while the constitution says nothing about deadlines for amendments, congress put a deadline on the equal rights amendment when it was passed in 1972. i am here to appeal to you to remove the 1982 deadline placed on congress for the ratification of the era. just because women didn't achieve full equality in america by 1978 or by 1982, doesn't mean they shouldn't have it today. there's a groundswell in this country. women are being elected in record numbers and women are rising up by the millions and saying they will not be
sexually assaulted. they will not be paid less or be treated as subhuman and they will have their voices heard. some people think women do have constitutional protections because of the 14th amendment that when asked about this supreme court justice said certainly, the constitution doesn't require discrimination on the basis of sex. the question is whether it prohibits it. it doesn't. a recent supreme court justice interpreted the constitution as saying it did not prohibit discrimination on the basis of the go. whether you agree with him or not, the fact remains this is how a recent supreme court justice interpreted women's rights in our constitution. this is why we need to attend the constitution and leave no room to question if women have full constitutional equality because women's protections cannot be left to interpretation alone. so let's look at the treatment
of women in america today. these are present-day truths. these are not antiquated horrors we have to search for history books. these are things that are happening to democratic and republican women. in america, in 2019 there are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of untested evidentiary kids across the nation. many victims are being billed for the collection of their own forensic evidence. alice emergency rooms and hospitals don't have trained half to correct evidence in rape kits. it is estimated that one quarter of all women in america will be raped in her lifetime. in some states in america today women can be forced to coparent with their convicted rapist and incarcerated women could be forced to give birth
while shackled two beds. we have the only rising mortality rate in the developing world. american women, especially african-american, latino and native american women are dying of pregnancy -related complications here on the wealthiest nation on earth. and we know the gender pay gap is having devastating consequences for women and their families, especially women of caller. we know 98% of all jobs women are paid less. according to the census bureau, 4 million women over 65 years old are living in poverty. more than 2.5 million children with working single mothers would be listed out of poverty. these are just a few examples of how systemic bias against women is expressed in america. why? because women don't have the same value as men in our country. that was true in 1787.
it was true in 1982. it is true in 2019. so i hope by now we are all ready to make the quality of bedrock american value and enshrine it in the u.s. constitution. i hope we are ready for all our mothers, daughters, sisters and friends to have full equal rights. why didn't women achieve full constitutional equality in 1787 or 1982? because the country wasn't ready? i hope you are ready now. because women have been waiting 232 years for equality in this country and it has failed them. legislators have blocked the passage of the equal rights amendment or decades but we are done waiting. thank you. >> thank you very much miss arquette. we will now proceed under the five-minute rules which we have for asking questions and each member of the panel will be questioned.
i would first like to start with miss arquette. you are a star. famous, celebrated and yet in your career i am sure you have faced some type of sexism the same that ordinary women face every day. what are some of the gender- based obstacles that you had to face in your career? >> i have been sexually assaulted, i have had to turn down work because i had employers that were not willing to be reasonable as people. they wanted me to sign papers thing i would be naked and do whatever they wanted. i am an actor. i am dealing with a director. i have no say as an employee or as a citizen as a human being. i have called the police when i was sexually assaulted by a stranger on the road and have the police not even come and i was a kid. i have had so many experiences in this country of sexual
assault. it is not just about me. woman after woman, okay, listen, don't we expect when one quarter of all women will be raped in our lifetimes is in it reasonable to expect that an emergency room would know how to collect evidence from a rape kits? isn't that reasonable? women have been rapist going from hospital to hospital sometimes they go to for hospitals and they are told they don't know how to collect the evidence. they have to go to another place. by the time they get there rape kits taken and this is from a joyful heart that gave me this information. by the time they get there rape kits taken, the dates rape drug is gone. only 3% of rape spend a day in jail. this is systemic across our country. we need every tool to root out bias, racial bias that women of caller are experiencing
and also we have to root out sexist bias. look, we have women also in alabama who are dying of treacle treatable cervical cancer because they are poor black women. there's one gynecologist for five counties. we have african-american women dying. we are the only country with a rising maternal death rate in the world. 700 black women die. what is going on? what is happening here? these are preventable things. but time after time we are seeing all these layers of bias and until we have equal rights amendment and with all of these other title ix and things will never be able to root out this. he will never be able to change this for american women. >> thank you so much. ms. sullivan, let me ask you rapid fire, some opponents of the e.r.a. argued has terrible effects
like eliminating women's sports teams or abolishing separate bathrooms. can you tell me what your thoughts are those arguments? >> the era would have no such effect. we have had interpretation of the equal protection clause that allows the unequal treatment of men and women when it is important to rectify vantage for example. we had era adopted by 22 states and we haven't seen the elimination of same's sex bathrooms or sports teams in any of those states. >> professor foley argued that states the presented ratification should not be counted in the assessment of whether we reach the 38 day limit. should states be able to resend the ratification? >> they should not. article 5 provides for ratification but not precision. we have never recognized the state rescission of its prior vote for an amendment. the 14th amendment that contains the equal protection
clause was ratified even though ohio and new york had purported to resend their votes for it. that creates terrible precedent that rescissions are null and void and that is what the attorney general of five states told the states who tried to resend after the 1972 passage of the era. rescissions do not count. >> some republicans brought up the issue of abortion or woman's right to choose. you mention all the industrialized nations have amendments on era. how have they affected their countries? and what effect would era have on reproductive rights? >> the era is a separate issue from abortion and reproductive rights. it will help encourage the quality of women which does involve reproductive rights but in those countries with era's and states with era's the passage of the e.r.a. has not changed the law of abortion in those countries. the supreme court has protected the right of access
to abortion as a matter of reproductive choice just like it protects other choices like the choice to use birth control. that debate has happened without the era. it is about equality. any debate about abortion reproductive rights will continue after its passage as it has in other states and countries that have adopted it. >> thank you. i would like to go to professor foley for history lesson. i'm sure as the university of tennessee law student, he learned about the perfect 36 in tennessee in the ratification of the women's right to vote. can you tell us the story about a republican legislator, harry byrne. you know the story? >> do you know that story? >> i don't. >> you should. it came down in 1920, 35 states had ratified in 12 said no. one state left, tennessee. a major battle. the senate which i was a member, not at the time but for 24 years past it 25 seven.
the house was tight. it was almost the last day. a republican male, a young man named harry burns got a note from his mother, harry do the right thing. and harry did the right thing and a republican voted yes, past the amendment, perfect 36 and women have the right to vote. thank you very much harry byrne. >> i now recognize mr. johnson who walks in harry byrne shoes. >> my mother would have given me the same advice and i would have voted for it. >> regarding ms. sullivan and my colleagues representative maloney, the contention that e.r.a. has nothing to do with abortion and my saying so is divisive. i will present to you these documents that show that pro- abortion groups are clearly saying now that adopting the e.r.a.
would mean the end of law to protect the sanctity of every human life and i will give you three examples. a new article published by the national extortion -- they say "and e.r.a. properly interpreted would negate the hundreds of laws that have been passed restricting access to abortion care and contraception. denial of appropriate care for women is sex discrimination and a powerful e.r.a. should recognize and prohibit the most harmful of discriminatory actions". consider a january 2019 complaint by planned parenthood in the pennsylvania department of health and human services. it is a lawsuit that argues the state government funded elected abortion violates the state era in any denial of this claim including past supreme court construction is contrary to modern understanding of the era. the fact is that now there is a central agreement between pro-life and pro-abortion groups that the language of
the 1972 era is likely to result in powerful reinforcement and expansion of abortion rights. this was last month they asserted that the e.r.a. would reinforce the constitutional right to abortion and it would require judges to strike down anti- abortion laws". these groups are not being divisive, they are simply knowledge and effects. here are my questions for professor foley. president jimmy carter wrote a house judiciary chairman in 1978 said "i am hopeful era will be ratified for the present deadline expires.". that expiration dates was march 22, 1979. the era opponents knew they could not secure ratifications from 38 states so they lobbied congress one more time which resulted in the congressional majority vote for an extension. that deadline wasn't met. on november 16, 1983 the new york times reported that the era went through laborious
debates in the legislatures of all 50 states and the proposal died when the ratification expired three states short of the necessary approval. the proposed equal rights amendment to the constitution officially died june 30, 1980 23 states short of the 38 needed. have there been any developments since 1982 that would render any of those contemporary in this statement of the expiration somehow inaccurate? >> short answer no. the point from the supreme court to keep in mind about constitutional amendments is you are in charge. congress is in charge and you are in charge because of article 5, not because of article 1. so what that means is that you don't have to impose a ratification deadline if you don't want to. if you do, it sticks. so the
problem with the era is you put a seven year deadline in their and to change that would require a new proposal with super majority in both houses of congress. so, as much as you may want the era to pass, i don't think you have the constitutional authority to do so anymore than you could for example pass a proposed amendment without a constitutional ratification deadline and then decide a few years later to suddenly impose a ratification deadline right before the requisite number of states had ratified, the three quarters threshold had been satisfied in order to stop the ratification. i don't think you can go in either direction and that is what the courts would hold. >> i appreciate you pointing out the distinction between article 5 and article 1 because i think there is a lot of misunderstanding about this power. this has never happened before when an amendment was adopted past the deadline. some find the era has popular
support. why is their reluctance to reissue the era to the states without a ratification deadline and what does that reluctance they about the prospects of popular support for the era? >> it is a great question. i think it is just easier to go with the three state strategy and see if it sticks after years and years of litigation. i don't think it will stick. i think unfortunately it was set back the clock for those who support gender equality. i think it would make things worse. if you really want to do this, the right way is clear. it is to go ahead and re- propose by two thirds of both houses of congress and cemented to the state for three force ratification. if you can't get two thirds from both houses of congress today, that may reflect the political reality of today. but that is why there is a super majority threshold for the proposal of constitutional amendments. they require societal consensus. one of the reasons we may not
have since idle societal societal consensus today is that things have changed. in 1972 that was one year before the supreme court decided roe v. wade. the supreme court had not firmly entrenched its equal protection analysis. the big case really was the case in 1996 by ginsberg where she imposed an intermediate standard of review for gender- based classifications under the equal protection clause. that means that all gender- based classifications, state- based classifications receive a presumption of unconstitutionality. we didn't have that in 1972. the fact that the supreme court has changed its equal protection jurisprudence including recognizing a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy prior to the point of fetal viability has change things. >> thank you. i yelled back. >> now recognize mr. nadler. >> thank you mr. chairman.
>> professor sullivan, professor foley argues against our right to rescind the ratification deadline and she quotes the dylan case which i would point out is a district court case. it is not a district court case? >> it is a supreme court case in 1921. >> you quote that case. basically you make the article 5, article 1 distinction because article 5, congress can impose a deadline from its power to propose amendments to the constitution under article 5, to change that would need the same super majority that you had to start with. article 1 is a general legislative powers. so we do not have the ability to extend the ratification
deadline except with two thirds vote. i would ask doctor sullivan why is that wrong? >> it is wrong and you absolutely can't change the deadline. am i the only textual is here? i would like to go back to the text of article 5. article 5 does not provide congress with any power to decide when an amendment has been ratified by the states. it simply says when three quarters of the states ratify the amendment is enacted. it is unclear whether you have the constitutional power as against the authority of the states under article 5 to tell them when the ratification deadline is up. if you have that power you surely have the power to change, alter, rescind, overrule your deadline and you got that in the supreme court in the case my friend professor foley didn't mention, coleman versus miller. it involved the child labor act amendment and the issue of
whether congress can control deadlines is a non-judicial issue in the -- it is not in the framing, it is not something james madison thought he needed and he didn't need it for his amendment. you certainly have the power to change it. >> it is not firmly established the right to set a deadline in the first case. the mac the case law, dylan burst loss said when the 38 state ratified, it wasn't 38 then, when three quarters of the states ratified it was passed. that is why dylan had to go to jail for sending a case of wine in san francisco because when the 38 state ratified before congress that it was good or not, the prohibition law was enacted. it stands for the position that when 38 states ratify we are done. >> because congress lacks the power to limit states sovereignty, because the
states have the power to ratify under the constitution and it would be a limitation on state sovereignty to limit their power by a deadline? >> that is exactly right. conservatives like states rights. >> i must say i have observed over the course of the career conservatives sometimes will go to rights states rights when it serves their purposes. >> blue states rights. >> in any event we don't have the power to set the ratification in the first place. but if he did he would have the same power from the same source to rescind that ratification? >> you are right. you don't really have it for article 5. article 5 doesn't speak to any congressional promulgation. you only have it for article 5 plus the proper cause of article 1 section 8. if you have it under the necessary and proper clause use, you certainly have the power to
change it. >> that is a powerful argument. ms. arquette, thank you for your leadership and activism on the subject. can you talk about why you think the push for the era is resonating with so many men and women? >> one of the things is as we have heard earlier, the gender pay gap and half of the women working in america are the primary breadwinners. we know what the wage impact is and for latina women over a lifetime that is over $1,135,000. for black women that is $946,000. and for white women, that is around $400,000. it doesn't change. the gender pay gap remains. we have it in every state. we have it in every country on earth, this gender pay gap.
and we need every possible way to eradicate that. to look at the bias. some wonderful things have happened recently. some leaders of industry have come forward and done gender pay gaps to remedy the situation and they found there they were. everything everyone talked about. it is there. so we need to advance our country because women are going to retire in poverty. they are twice as likely as men are, one third more likely to retire in poverty. it takes him longer to pass their houses and car payments. to put their kids through college. it is really having devastating effects on women. >> thank you very much. my time is expired. >> thank you, sir. i recognize the gentleman from virginia who has outstanding service on this committee, mr. klein. >> i want to thank the witnesses for being here and
for all the attendees who are here and for congresswoman spears and congresswoman maloney for all of your work over the years to ensure equality for women. women deserve to live, work, and thrive in america free from discrimination and inequality. this document which i carry around with me is very important to every american and should ensure equal rights for every american. i first want to ask professor foley if in light of the answers that were given if you have anything else to add briefly? >> i did. if i could respond about coleman. i didn't have time to talk about it but i think it is worth talking about. it was a case that went to the supreme court. decided in 1939 and involved the child labor amendment. it never got ratified. it did not have a ratification deadline which was typical of its day.
and so what happened was the state of kansas originally rejected it. about a year after it was proposed. then 13 years later after it was proposed kansas changed its mind and ratified it. the question before the court, kansas state legislators who were mad that kansas changed its mind took the case to the court and they said you can't do that because number 1, it is an improper ratification. the lieutenant governor broke a tie in the senate and that was wrong. and number 2, the fact that it was ratified so long after the original proposal, 13 years after the original proposal means that it was not a valid ratification because it wasn't within a reasonable time of ratification. the supreme court decided in a majority opinion that the issue of the 13 years that it took kansas to ratify was non-
justiciable. it was non-justiciable because the congress that proposed the child labor amendment had chosen not to provide ratification deadline. you pass a proposed constitutional amendment and you send it to the states. it has no ratification deadline. one of the states 13 years later decides to ratified. they take it to the supreme court and they are asked to decide if 13 years is too late? and the supreme court said no, it is not too late because you didn't provide ratification deadline. 13 years versus 20, versus 203 years is nonjusticiable, we will not touch that. that has nothing to do with the inverse situation where you do provide a ratification deadline and it is not satisfied. coleman has no precedential value on that question which is why i didn't put it in my primary remarks. and i think because dylan's is good law and a unanimous decision and it says you are
in charge and you can specify a mode of ratification pursuant to your article 5 authority. if you do provide a deadline, it has to be adhered to. >> thank you. i also was reviewing the supreme court decision in dillon and one of the passages in the decision, i am quoting, the power of congress keeping within reasonable limits to fix it. for the ratification. we entertain no doubt. doctor sullivan, you entertained out? >> thank you congressman. i do have doubt about dylan. i think it doesn't take into account the federalism resolution we had on the supreme court. >> you are reclaiming my time? >> don't you think it would require an additional decision to reverse the decision? >> i think dylan supports your power to change your procedures. >> correct.
so, congress does have the power to extend the deadline, but some action by congress would be necessary to give states that extra time, is that correct? >> i don't think it is necessary that i think it is sufficient and you have the power to do it notwithstanding dylan. >> in your mind that passage of that decision and the deadlines passed by congress could be ignored by a 38 state in the next year? >> i think that is a potential decision that could be found by a supreme court in the future but you don't need to face that because coleman verse miller did it give you unreviewable authority to regulate your own deadline procedures. you can do it by a majority vote. >> professor foley do you disagree? >> i do. the people who cite coleman verse miller for this idea that everything congress does associated with constitutional amendments is nonjusticiable
our way over reading coleman verse miller. in fact, that position that everything congress does is nonjusticiable when it comes article 5 comes from a plurality decision that was penned by justice black. it got four votes which is not a majority. that is the position they took that everything congress does is nonjusticiable when it comes to const additional amendments. three members of the majority, there were seven members in coleman did not sign on to black's concurrence. that is three. two dissenters ruled that it was justiciable and they wanted to address the issue. you add 3+2 from coleman, you actually get five justices from coleman riding a very narrow opinion saying the only thing that was nonjusticiable in coleman was whether kansas is ratification 13 years after proposal was a reasonable period of time when congress had not specified a time limit. that's it. >> thank you, my time has
expired. >> thank you mr. klein. we recognize professor raskin. thank you. >> there have been 17 amendments since the bill of rights in the vast majority of them have expanded the quality , political participation and democracy in america. so the 13th amendment abolished slavery. the 14th give us equal protection and due process. 15th amendment struck down race discrimination in voting. 17th shifted the motive election from u.s. senators to legislatures to the people. 19th amendment gave us women's suffrage. 2030 minute people here in dc the right to participate in presidential elections. 24th amendment abolished poll taxes the 26th amendment lowered the voting age. do you think, process or sullivan that the equal rights amendment is in the mainstream of the trajectory of american constitutional bellman? >> absolutely yes.
>> is it something that is frivolous and extra, or something that is necessary and central to our development as a country? >> necessary, central, conditional. it is 100 years since we had the 19th amendment placed in the constitution. the supreme court said there is no equal right of women to vote. it is high time after hundred years that the 19th amendment which is never extended beyond its voting boundaries be recognized for all purposes against all public discrimination by passage of the era. >> doctor spearman, why did nevada after all these years decide the equal rights amendment was something he needed to do? >> let me start by saying i'm african-american, a woman, a veteran and an ordained minister and a proud member of the lgbt community. the discussion about equality i have been in all of my life. all of my life and it has
always been contentious. for me to carry the era and get it passed and ratified in 2017 was the right thing to do. every time we come to equality we always parse words. every time we are talking about someone has the same right as someone else, we are not talking about special rights, we are talking about equal rights. the trajectory is moving in the right direction and it is moving in the right direction because every time i have been in a discussion about equality, whether it is about racism, sexism, homophobia, every time we always parse words about whether or not has a right to equality. he ratified it because it was the right thing to do. >> thank you. miss arquette, when you come to you. you gave some eloquent testimony about rape kits and discrimination against women in different places. what you say to those who assert that the equal rights amendment is too far removed
from the daily struggles that women have against sexual harassment and sexual assault, against states failing to deliver the rape kits . is the e.r.a. something that is pie-in-the- sky that is removed from the daily struggles of women? >> i have to say to them that the equal rights amendment would give us another tool to examine unconscious bias i think and sometimes obvious bias that we know in our country. it is like whack a mole. all of a sudden you bash down one thing, like child marriage. the last few years some fears activists across the country have been advocating and working with legislators to change some laws in some states . we no longer have adult males impregnating girls and marrying them. this is recent, very recent. in the united states of america. but it is like whack a mole. i just found out i do women's rights work, this is what i do.
i just found out a couple weeks ago that women in most countries, me not most countries, most states in america when you go to a hospital for your tonsils and you go under, if you are at a teaching hospital they can bring in medical residents who do internal national exams on you while you are unconscious without your consent. most states in america. so i want the equal rights amendment, i want every protection under the law to start rooting out systemic bias. >> in the e.r.a. comes with these other statutory protections as part of the movement for general trends formation in the society? >> we need that transformation. >> professor foley let me come to you. you seem to question your last remark, the controlling authority of coleman verse miller which i always taught as a key precedent for the proposition that the whole constitutional amending
process is a political question not justiciable. do you know of any supreme court cases where the supreme court has intervened to decide that either a procedure was unlawful or that a constitutional amendment was unconstitutional? >> know. but of course we have never had that opportunity arise. the closest he came was with the three-year extension of the era and the district court decision. because it got moved and the three-year deadline expired and no states ratified. >> i want to get the logic. are you saying if the deadline were to be extended this would be the first constitutional amendment in our history to be struck down as unconstitutional? >> i think it could be. >> you think it should be? >> that's a different question. >> that is what i'm asking. >> i'm not a policy person. i'm not here to talk about it. as a good idea or bad idea. >> i thought you were asking
me should it be struck down because the e.r.a. is a good idea. >> you seem to be invoking supreme court justices who did not think these were nonjusticiable critical questions. but i am asking you is are you saying the supreme court in the event that we were to extend the deadline should intervene to strike it down or if states were to adopt the equal rights amendment to say it is not a constitutional amendment and it is not part of the constitution. >> yes. when it gets litigated if you decide to extend the ratification deadline or if it is ratified again by one more state, it will be struck down as an unconstitutional amendment process. so yes. and i thank you for clarifying. ms. scalon from pennsylvania. one of the great new members of our congress. >> i'm so excited to be here.
this is one of those aha moments for new member of congress. i want to show you this. it is called girls are equal, to buy dale carlson. my mother gave me this book over 40 years ago. because she wanted me to think about gender roles and how they impacted even preteens like myself at the time. for that, having just joined the most diverse congress in history i am extremely grateful. i also want to share with you this pin that i am wearing. i wore to the state of the union earlier this year. it is a pin that was given to alice paul and other women that chained themselves to the white house fence demanding the right to vote. it represents the jailhouse door. it was given to them when they were released from jail after a series of hunger strike etc. and after they won the right to vote. alice paul wrote the equal rights amendment first
introduced in 1923 nearly a century ago. shuffle happens to have earned her bachelor degree from a college that is in my district. i'm extremely proud of that connection to alice paul and looking forward to carrying forward her work in the congress. i would like to pull back a little bit and talk about the impact of the era, the potential impact of the era on girls, the girls of today. miss sullivan, could you speak a little bit to the fact, you noted in your testimony that every other major democracy with a written constitution guarantees equal rights for men and women. what effect do you think the u.s. outlier status has on the world stage and the impact on the young women of today are going to be our leaders in the future? >> thank you. i think the fact that we don't have a provision for sex equality is shocking in 2019
and it is shocking comparatively when we look at the rest of the world. all the rest of the industrial democracies of the world, every nation that adopted a written constitution, many of them based on hours in the aftermath of the world war ii they all have sex equality provisions and why don't we? it speaks loudly, the title of your book is wonderful. your mother's advice was wonderful. the constitution speaks to our most basic commitments. it says out loud in the one voice we have as we the people who is included as equal among the people? the absence of a statement that women are the equal of men in our constitution is something that is unfathomable and something that should be fixed. >> thank you. miss arquette when you one the academy award not so long ago, you gave a powerful acceptance teach about the need to address pay and equality for women in the u.s. and the need for the equal rights amendment. have you seen any real-world effects of the results of that
speech? >> thank you for that question. yes. i have seen some real-world effects. i recognized a problem. i was winning this award for woman who is struggling to feed her two kids as a primary caretaker and breadwinner so i gave this speech and people started to talk about it. one thing that happened was cindy robbins and layla at salesforce went in the next morning to their boss and they said are we being paid the same? and they said yeah, i'm sure we are. you guys are. they said are you sure you're sure? he said well, i think we are let's do a gender audit. what they found was no, turned out they were paying mostly women $2 million less every year. compound that. if that is your salary and you are having this chunk of money kept out, so they remediated that, they fixed that for all their employees. the next year they did a gender
wage raise also. they found again they had another gap in the six that. then mark went out to the head of apple, intel, the gap, they signed on and started doing gender audit and they started paying people fairly. not only that, senator of california saw it. he said two days later she presented her equal pay bill on the floor and it passed. she had been trying to pass it for 36 years. since then 41 states have passed equal pay bills. people come up to me and they say thank you, my boss gave me a check for thousands of dollars. i can't believe it. what i am talking about is magic. when you make the intention, when you say to the world women are equal in america, the system has never corrected itself. call it out. it will start to correct
itself. it will start to fix things we have been having to deal with since the beginning of our country. >> thank you. >> thank you, i now recognize a member from pennsylvania who is also a great new woman member, missing. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you for holding this historic hearing. like my colleague representatives, i come from pennsylvania where we had no women in congress as of the last congress and we now have for women in congress. good things can happen in pennsylvania and elsewhere. and like my friend representative scalon i feel like we are at an extraordinary moment. i can't believe i have the privilege of sitting here and raising again the era and the valuable requirement and need to do it. but that is met by also a paradoxical moment. how in god's name have we not
done this yet? and why would anyone want to stand in the way? so floating in my head is what is anybody afraid of? what is there to be fearful of inslee make this enshrined in our constitution that women hold the same rights? i was thinking about this as a mother. i am a mother to three grown white men. i don't worry about whether they will be treated equally. i have that privilege. but i have a seven-year-old granddaughter and i absolutely worry if she will see that everything is open to her. that she is equal under the law and protective under the law. and so miss sullivan, i wanted to go back to you. why are we here? why can't we get this done? back to the notion of symbolic or necessary? a lot of people say oh my gosh, it is just a symbol. i can't believe you are still arguing about the era . can you go about the essential nature of this? >> it is necessary and
essential and it is not just symbolic. symbols are important. our constitution is an important symbolic commitment to equality that speaks volumes as patricia arquette said. it has a trickle-down effect into the rest of the private sector as well when we declare our public equality. why it is needed is we never have had sex discrimination treated the same as other forms of discrimination. under interpretations of equal protection it might be allowed in ways that the era would help to cement. second reason, i want to focus on you, the congress section 2 of the equal rights amendment gives to you the congress the power to enforce the amendment by appropriate legislation. up until now the supreme court has interpreted your power under the enforcement clause of the 14th amendment and under the commerce clause to be quite limited in addressing sexual assault, sexual violence and other unequal treatment of women. you would gain power to once and for all help to rectify
patterns of discrimination that the states have failed to rectify and that is very important and i would argue an essential aspect of e.r.a. >> on the issue of this will just grant unfettered rights to abortion, i think it is obviously a false argument. but i do come from the experience of being 6 1/2 years in state legislature and the pennsylvania house. i would like to flip that abortion argument on his head and say wouldn't the era help us? wouldn't tamp down the false, lousy legislative proposals that we see session after session and many of our state legislatures that are clearly antiabortion and clearly unconstitutional but we face them every year. isn't it possible if we enshrined in our constitution equal rights than those equal rights under the law including roe v. wade and others would be further protected, not expanded, protected?
>> are you directing that it me? >> yes miss sullivan, thank you. >> the equality of men and women, reproductive rights are a very important aspect of the equality of men and women. people feel divided about abortion in this country because people of goodwill on both side have passionate commitments about the difficulty of the decision and the woman who ever has an abortion treats it as anything other than a difficult decision. the e.r.a. would enshrine the principle of equality. it would leave her the interpretation of whether some limits might be allowed as they are now or whether some limits go too far and impose an undue burden as we have now. i do think it distracts from the debate about equality to try to make those debates the focus of our attention now. it will be active as in pamphlets or lawsuits determine the meeting of the equal rights amendment. it will be the supreme courts. the supreme court has had a
balanced approach to data. conservative justices reaffirmed roe v. wade when they sat on the court and will continue to have a debate. there is no reason not to adopt the e.r.a. now. >> thank you mr. chairman and i think the test fires are coming before us. >> i think the two ladies from pennsylvania who stayed within the time limit showing great restraint and i recognize the two great ladies from texas. >> mr. jordan you are recognized for five minutes. >> i would like to yield to the ranking member from louisiana. >> miss jordan and mr. chairman. real quickly on the procedure. we have benefited by some great back-and-forth dialogue. he agreed has been some of the most productive because we can talk with really intelligent people about these tough questions. this does regard procedure. i agree with ms. foley. but to show as a textile as i do have
the text of the constitution and article 5 and it says the phrase that ms. foley reference, the mode of ratification may be proposed by congress was referenced in dillon because they were quoting article 5. a text list can look at that in good faith and say well, that speaks to congress having the ability to set a time limit and do it in a certain way and if they did it that way it would take an equal effort to overturn it. let me ask miss sullivan and miss arquette, your personal opinion about an unrelated question. some people are arguing this term that the word sex in the civil rights laws include self- professed gender identity. is it your understanding that the term sex in the era also includes self or fast gender identity? and if so or if not why is that? >> the e.r.a. will prohibit discrimination
on the basis of sex. if there is discrimination on the basis of sex in the treatment of , lesbian, or transgender people that will count as unconstitutional under the era just as the supreme court is about to decide whether it counts as unconstitutional under the equal protection clause. >> what is your opinion on that? >> i think the proper textual reading of the term on account of sex does include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity. that is a textual reading of the term on the basis of sex. >> doctor spearman do you agree with that? >> yes i do. i think that when you talk about on the basis of sex gender identity is a new way of saying this is who i am. i want to go a little further. one of the other hats i wear is that is an ordained minister. i happen to be a christian and i believe if the founder of my faith were here today, he
would probably say something like this. it really doesn't matter because remember i said whosoever will, let them. >> we both believe in redemption, i'm a fellow christian. there's different interpretation on the scripture. i will say that for another day. >> miss arquette you agree? >> i'm going to answer that in the only way i know how. my sister alexis is a transgender woman. i spent my whole life sharing a bathroom with her. the only dangerous thing about it who was going to use the last of the toilet paper. my sister, i heard stories after she died of how she broke down bathroom doors to say people. to save people from danger. i love my sister. i want trans people to have equal rights under the law and the highest group of kids who are getting raped in college are trans students. >> i agree. i have to reclaim my time. with the e.r.a. , with the term sex in the era
include that? >> i would like it to that will be argued in court. i would like trans and lgbt people, everyone to have equal rights under the law. >> professor foley, do think there may be a reluctance on the part of the majority of the congress to simply re-issue to the states without medication in mind because they know if that were done, it would follow a torrent of litigation to answer all the dicey legal questions you presented in your testimony that we talked about today? >> i think it would happen. it clearly would happen. i'm pretty confident about how you come out when it ultimately reaches the supreme court. if the e.r.a. is ratified by another state and they purport that the ratification is valid, or if the congress extends the ratification deadline by a simple majority aryan processes in the ratification occurs, then we will have a problem on our hands.
the supreme court -- by a simple majority are in the process of the ratification that occurs, then we will have a problem on our hands. it is not good for the e.r.a. are those whose support gender equality for the country to take the country through that process. if you think this is an important enough issue you need to do the process right to have it. >> wouldn't set the prospects for the ratification of future movements estates new congress could subsequently alter the terms of ratification? >> yeah. we get ourselves into a giant quagmire and we may never get ourselves out. thank you, i'm out of time. >> so is mr. jordan. thank you, i recognize ms. garcia, standing member of houston. he will be in her district on friday having a hearing on voting rights.
>> thank you mr. chairman. for me i go back to when i was in college and remember being a bright eyed student who believed they could change the world and one of the things i would do was go off to the state capital and make sure the legislators passed era in texas. i was there for that hearing and who would have thought then that i would be here today at this hearing and we still haven't gotten the darn thing passed. for me it is a little dij@ vu filling to be here. but i'm so glad i am and. because the pennsylvania ladies brags, i will, too. not only am i here, i'm here with my friend and colleague who together they are the first two latinas to be elected
to the united states congress from texas. >> we know we are making history. but unfortunately history has not treated us well as women because even though the author of the bill talked about, abigail adams noted to remember the ladies, they did not. that is what we are here today to correct that and make sure that the whole world knows that some of the witnesses has stated in this country, we do treat women equally. so i want to start with you miss sullivan. before i get to the question i'm also troubled because i have been involved in the feminist movement for many years beginning as a student and a law student. this whole nonsense of this impacting reproductive rights and the sole idea that the
right to an abortion may be impacted by the era . i still remember as a law student reading roe v. wade and so many cases after that. the e.r.a. and what we are talking about here today was never mentioning any of those cases, was it? >> it was not. >> from reading in the right to privacy under the constitution, those cases were decided. anything we do with this bill for any future bill on the era has nothing to do with the right to privacy. >> that's correct. >> do you recall how many times the constitution uses the word woman? >> that would be zero. >> zero. that is another reason for correcting things today, isn't it? >> yes it is. >> there's an argument to be made. i noted that some have said
this whole idea of the deadline, there is no deadline in the actual text of the bill that passed for the e.r.a., is there? the mac there is no deadline in the text of the amendment. that is what article 5 speaks to. you can change the deadline because it is only in the preamble. >> is that the best answer to the arguments that congress cannot just change it is in fact there is nothing to change because it is not in the text? >> it is not in the text of the amendment and to the extent you have the power to put it in the preamble and control your procedures? , what congress makes for its procedures that can unmake. >> i disagree with professor foley that we would have litigation on it. the current law is it is nonjusticiable for good reason. we don't want the court to decide whether amendment are valid or not. amendments are the only way to control the court.
you don't want foxes to guard and houses. you don't want the court to guard processes by which its own decisions can be overruled. i don't think it would be tied up in a court can't strike it down. the mac didn't one case say it was the power of congress to do that? >> absolutely. >> i'm so glad to hear you say that. it seems to me the main arguments i keep hearing this morning on the relationship to abortion and you can change the deadline that wasn't in the text, it seemed to go away. i for one have been waiting a long time, since i was a bright eyed and bushy tailed student. i would be as bright eyed today is a member of congress. i will work like heck to make sure this gets done. thank you for being here today. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. ms. escobar is recognized presently. she is another starve our
freshman class. >> proud to be here with this room filled with history makers and advocates. i want to thank all of the witnesses who have come before us to testify. i would like to thank my colleagues, congresswoman spear and maloney for being such dogged advocates for what is right, what is good and what is just and what is about time. i would like to ask the senator a question. you worked so hard. i love the description of how hard you worked in your state to get this done. one of my colleagues, congressman johnson asked a witness a little while ago on whether there is popular support or not. i would like you to get this passed in your state. why would anyone be against an equal rights amendment?
>> it struck me that we were here. the fact that we are debating equal rights for women is in itself rather abominable considering we are considered a free nation in the world. let me equal rights for women, considers im imbomadable. there were people afraid that it would bring about some type of controversy over bathrooms, but it went down to this. the people of nevada respect, enjoy equality. so when it came down to the vote, some thought it was partisan, but at the end of the day, we knew it was about equality. that's all it's about. it's about equality. and i have no idea why in god's game this is such a big hurdle to get over. it's about equality.
oh, but wait a minute. i have lived my life in all majority populations. so when it comes to equality, at every step of the game, i have heard these same arguments, you know, if you do this, that means black people can drink other water fountains. all these things come up when we talk about equality. the people of nevada stood with me, my colleagues in the assembly stood with me and you know what? we had a republican governor and even though he didn't have to sign it, he put out there that he was for equality. nevada recognized it was about equality, period. >> thank you so much, senator. and to your point, so much of this is rooted in fear,
unfortunately. and ms. arkette, you and i had a great chance to speak and you and i shared stories with the public in a way to open up our eyes and feel compassion. you and i have opened up about the economic value of equal rights and equal pay. you pointed out minority women are paid significantly lower than white women. i would like you to expand on that because that conversation was so powerful about the economic benefit to equal pay and equal rights. >> well, i think it's pretty crazy. if you are a latino woman and you are making 54 cents compared to your white male colleague with the same position, you are basically paying a 46% undertax.
i would never ask anyone is that okay if you took a 46% gender tax? is that cool? there is no reason for that. that is why we have more women in poverty when they are old. it follows you your whole life and impacts you your whole life and crosses over itself. if you are paying a black woman 61 cents on the dollar, she is paying 39% gender tax. she may have to take on extra job now. the same with the single mom. now she has to have two jobs to make the same amount of money her male colleague made and she is a single mom with two jobs. here is one way it impacts you. black women are less likely to get breast cancer, but more likely to die from it. and why is that? when you have two jobs and a
single mom, not that all black women are single moms or struggling with two jobs, but i'm just say not guilty this case to take your time off to take care of your sick kid, you don't have time to take off to get a breast exam, a wellness exam. so this is killing women. it really is killing women. we have native american women and black women dying in childbirth and women not able to get cervical pap smears for completely treatable cancer, hpv, a million americans have it. when we close clinics and not giving women access to healthcare, we are giving them a death sentence. we are going to let people have cancer. >> thank you. >> thank you, congresswoman. next we will hear from mr. grover from texas. >> thank you. and i don't know anybody on
either side of the aisle feels like women should be making less than men. i don't know that we need an equal rights amendment to justify or even voice the need to justify inequality in wages. it ought to be equal, period. but having heard at this hearing that sex and equal rights includes gender, someones one goes one way, even has a sex operation or i have friends that have been to one side or another. it does create issues, and as someone who has had repeatedly as a judge in sexual assault
cases and i have heard the testimony and read the medical data that women are much more likely to have been the victim of sexual assault and many more times to suffer from ptsd than male soldiers are. and there is different theories for why that is. and that a woman in a private area, like say, for example, a restroom are confronted by what absolutely appears to be a man by all external appearances, is caused to suffer that trauma all over again, i can't fathom seeing something passes na force women to face men from all
biological ways of determining and suffering those traumas again. so i have grave concerns about that. without an era, women will hopefully not be forced into that with an era from what we have heard today, they will be forced into that. and having lived through the debates over obamacare and having seen the data indicating that certain size tumor is found in the uk and in the united states before obamacare, the u.s. person, whether poor or wealthy had a 20% chance better of surviving than someone in the uk and somebody that comes from
a home of women. and i don't want to see somebody die among my family simply because we adopted some kind of socialized medicine and someone who fled cuba said earlier this morning in a meeting, you know, he went -- fore went the opportunity to have free education and free healthcare to -- and risk life to get to a place where there wasn't free healthcare and free education. but professor foley, if the era has such wide support, if so , can you tell us why people are wushing this method of reopening the era, instead of saying let's reoffer it, get a time of determination and start all over again. why is that, if it's so popular?
>> yeah, it is a good question. i don't know the answer. i can speculate. my guess is based on what the proponents are saying today. and i see two things. okay? and this is from a person again, who if you ask me in the abstract if i would support an era in the right way, the answer would be yes. i'm a woman. but would i support it knowing that these sort of sub rosa agendas are being articulated by its proponents today, i don't know. trying to entrench abortion and giving it a new status because there is a concern that the new supreme court which is leaning to the right is going to roll back some of the protections for
abortion. so that exists. i believe it's valid given the supreme court has become more conservative and i think what they are going to do is have an era in there so that it would breathe new life to abortion, sort of lay for the future that regulation abortions, late term abortions, things that are passing constitutional muster may not later on the basis of that amendment. that's one and you see them articulate that as well. so it is what it is. the second thing is i find it a little ironic as a woman that the other big sets of proponents of the amendment is the lgbtq community. i think you heard from the members of the panel that if the era was passed, on the basis of
sex would include transgender, lgbt rights. and i find that ironic because we have been historically talking about women's rights and now i think we are moving beyond that. those are the two thing that is give members of congress concern. >> next is my colleague and friend from houston, congresswoman lee. >> thank you. my long down at the end position is my desire to be on this committee and take whatever seat i could get because i knew of the crucialness of this work. and i want to thank chairman cohen and as well i want to thank committee chair lambert and mr. johnson, the ranking member for recognizing women cannot wait. any long litany of questions, let me try to be as pointed and
brief as i possibly can. but this brings back memories of the debate of the 13th amendment, and opposition can be found for anything. who would imagine that there would be this vigorous debate and this fight as evidenced by history and the work of president lincoln to get this nation to stand against slavery and a debate on why we should do it. so i want to be able to answer the question that was asked by my good friend from texas. we begin this all over again now attuned to the argument therenow welcome a mourn mountain of premises, the false premise of abortion, even though the ninth
amendment and various case have indicated the woman's right to choose, we may not even get to the 35 we already have. so let me thank congresswoman speer whose language is very clear, stating notwithstanding any time in the original era, it shall be valid to all intents and purposes when ratified by the legislation of three forths of the states. & friday friend maloney shall not be denied or abridged, simple language that speaks to the necessity of justice. let me remind my good friend carol maloney as i go to my questions quickly, we went to afghanistan and helped them write their constitution. many women of this country went and that war torn nation, though we have many more miles to
travel, the rights of women and we are still fighting for it in the united states. i want to go to professor sullivan and tell me again, we have the 14th amendment and my time is short. why do we need the era? i want it again to be restated. that is of course of equal process, equal rights under the law. why do we need the era. >> the 14th amendment protects all of us equally, but the era would protect equally against sex discrimination. sex discrimination has its own history and its history is parallel in many ways and different in many ways from discrimination. sometimes people said women are placed on a pedestal that became a cage when we were protected out of sitting as lawyers or being on jury us, but no one
protected us from being chattel. >> but we must also state that sex discrimination is to forever be ended in america and we must state it explicitly and not just do it by analogy to race discrimination. >> let me ask -- thank you very much senator speer man i will convey your dear regards to counsel member houston and to patricia arkette. but to senator spaer man, i imagine you received any manner of threats and accusations, as well as distorted opposition. give us just a snippet -- you may have done so already -- about the possibility of opening this up again and i hope in this
hearing we have convinced her that the idea of any reopening would be a dastardly act moving toward our agenda and to ms. arkette, thank you for your statement. i am a breast cancer survivor. i am well aware of the plight of african women and all women. i would like to hear from you isn't it about time for us to achieve that place of equality? senator, please. >> thank you, ms. jackson lee. the oppositions we had in nevada were very similar to the opposition i heard when i was in high school. but the differences were seasoning, this had something to do with women in combat and women railroad already in o combat. one woman even came to the stand and said if we passed the era,
that would allow a woman to marry the eiffel tower. so passing the era, when we get this close, the only thing to fear is fear itself. that's the only thing to fear. as i said before, i find it laughable, if it weren't so tragic. people who are born in privilege always debate whether or not those of us who were not deserve equality. and so what we are talking about here -- what we are talking about here is the fact that equality is not debatable. we were born with it. the only thing we are asking the era is acknowledge the fact that women are born equal to men. and if you are born in privilege, you have no idea what i'm talking about. >> thank you so much. ms. chairman, would you ask ms. arkette to at least allow me to finish my answer. i will not ask her a question, but i want to thank you in her
absence, i appreciate this hearing. >> may i? >> i would like to be a director and say cut. i would just ask you to be brief in your response. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> let's face it. people didn't want to give equal rights in 1870s when there were no abortion laws. they didn't want to give women equal rights in the 1980s when we already had abortion laws and you don't want to give them to us now in 2019 when we already have abortion laws protecting us. so you just don't want to give us equal rights. that's what it comes down to. there are these fears. and do you know how scary it is to be a woman in the united states of america? you are scared someone might go to the bathroom. women are being raped everywhere. kids are being raped on school buses. women are being raced in institutions of god, houses of
god. stop. we can no longer be held back. we need equal rights. . >> all right. that's a wrap. and i will now welcome in the university of women alian swanson, without objection that will be done. >> mr. chairman. >> yes, ma'am. >> may i submit to the record, document era equal rights amendment frequently asked and answered questions put it in which lists the 15 states that did not ratify. >> without objection, that will be done. and this has been a historic hearing. i reflected when i started my political career which was about 1970, era was an issue. it's still an issue. the moral arc of the universe
turns towards justice, slow, but it turns towards justice. so many witnesses. i thank our two congress people for bringing the legislation and being part of this. but the panel was phenomenal, all four of you. i thank you for your testimony. and i just have to reflect again on heidi shirek. i attended that play. everybody should see it. it was emotional to see the era mentioned and women for so many years have not been part of the constitution and have suffered from it and need to change our laws. so with that, this concludes our hearing. .
. here is some of what we are covering friday on the c-span network. political editor kerry brown speaks at a law conference. at 7 p.m. eastern, afghanistan peace talks from washington, d.c. on c-span 2, 9 eastern, a forum on climate changes hosted by johns hopkins university and forum on north korea's abductions of foreign citizens. sunday night on q & a, lincoln scholar and best selling author will share their
perspectives on c-span's new books, the presidents. noted historians on the best and worst chief executive. on c-span's q & a. counsel on american-islamic relations hosted on islamfobia. began with opening remarkses from minnesota governor tim walls. two representatives, thank you for being in your insight and expertise, this deep dive we will go into islam phobia and hate. we are ready to hear and we welcome your insights advising guidance. to everyone else, minnesotans who took time to be here, as presiden a