URGENT UPDATE: There’s still a chance we can pass the ERA this session. Delegate Ayala has introduced a bill to allow a floor vote on the ERA. Call your Delegate!

Network NoVA believes these are the most urgent 8 Delegates to contact:

  • Speaker Cox (804) 698-1066 / DelKCox@house.virginia.gov
  • Tim Hugo (804) 698-1040 / DelTHugo@house.virginia.gov
  • Chris Stolle (804) 698-1083 / DelCStolle@house.virginia.gov
  • Roxann Robinson (804) 698-1027 / DelRRobinson@house.virginia.gov
  • Jay Leftwich (804) -698-1078 /DelJLeftwich@house.virginia.gov
  • Chris Jones (R) 804-698-1076 / DelCJones@house.virginia.gov
  • Bob Thomas (804) 698-1028 / DelBThomas@house.virginia.gov
  • David Yancey (804) 698-1094 / DelDYancey@house.virginia.gov

Why do we need the ERA when we already have the EPC?

My opponent, Senator Bryce Reeves, just voted against the Equal Rights Amendment. I disagree with his vote. Why do we need the Equal Rights Amendment when we already have the 14th amendment, which says nobody is denied equal protection under the law? It’s because the Supreme Court doesn’t think the equal protection clause protects sex as strongly as it protects race, religion, or country of origin.

The US Supreme Court decides whether or not a law is constitutional. If it’s unconstitutional, the law gets thrown out. The way SCOTUS evaluates a discriminatory law under 14A is by dividing laws into three tiers of scrutiny: strict, intermediate, and rational basis.

Strict scrutiny is the strongest tier. A law evaluated under strict scrutiny is only constitutional if it’s necessary for a compelling state interest AND as narrowly tailored as possible. Discriminatory laws reviewed under strict scrutiny are usually thrown out. Race and religion are protected under strict scrutiny, but shockingly, women are only protected under intermediate scrutiny, which just says the law needs to be substantially related to an important state interest.

Here’s an example: age laws for smoking or drinking. A law assigns different drinking ages based on race or religion? That’s discrimination under strict scrutiny, and the Supreme Court will throw it out. But a law that says men and women get different drinking ages? That’s intermediate scrutiny, and less likely to get thrown out. That’s not fair. That’s why we need the ERA.