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Q:

Since the 14th Amendment guarantees all citizens equal protection of the laws, why do we still need the ERA?

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The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, after the Civil War, to deal with race discrimination. In referring to the electorate, it added the word "male" to the Constitution for the first time. Even with the 14th Amendment in the Constitution, women had to fight a long and hard political battle to have their right to vote guaranteed through the 19th Amendment in 1920. It was not until 1971, in Reed v. Reed, that the Supreme Court applied the 14th Amendment for the first time to prohibit sex discrimination, in that case because the circumstances did not meet a rational-basis test. However, in that and subsequent decisions (Craig v. Boren, 1976; United States v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 1996), the Court declined to elevate sex discrimination claims to the strict scrutiny standard of review that the 14th Amendment requires for certain suspect classifications, such as race, religion, and national origin. The Court now applies heightened (so-called “skeptical”) scrutiny in cases of sex ... more
mncafecoalition.org
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The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, after the Civil War, to deal with race discrimination. In referring to the electorate, it added the word "male" to the Constitution for the first time. Even with the 14th Amendment in the Constitution, women had to fight a long and hard political battle to have their right to vote guaranteed through the 19th Amendment in 1920. It was not until 1971, in Reed v. Reed, that the Supreme Court applied the 14th Amendment for the first time to prohibit sex discrimination, in that case because the circumstances did not meet a rational-basis test. However, in that and subsequent decisions (Craig v. Boren, 1976; United States v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 1996), the Court declined to elevate sex discrimination claims to the strict scrutiny standard of review that the 14th Amendment requires for certain suspect classifications, such as race, religion, and national origin. The Court now applies heightened (so-called skeptical) scrutiny in cases of sex ... more
equalrightsamendment.org
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