By Aryana Goodarzi
The 46th State of the Union Address will be given by the 26th President of the United States, Joe Biden. It is a live speech given to Congress about the status of the nation. Governor R-Kim Reynolds is giving the Response Speech. There has been much hope that President Biden will talk about equality. The Equal Rights Amendment has taken all the necessary steps to become the law. Biden has stated the necessity of the ERA and even mentioned it in a proclamation for Women’s History Month as recently as this morning, but he has not yet taken the steps necessary to ensure it is added officially to the U.S. Constitution.
In a statement given by the White House, Biden said:
“I am calling on Congress to act immediately to pass a resolution recognizing ratification of the ERA. As the recently published Office of Legal Counsel memorandum makes clear, there is nothing standing in Congress’s way from doing so.”
He also had the Department of Justice analyze (though not overturn) the Office of Legal Counsel opinion from Trump’s Administration. House Democrats Jackie Speier and Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney have brought up a resolution in the House officially adding the ERA to the Constitution. Finally, throughout the United States, groups are asking their State Legislative Research Units go through their state statutes to make note of any sexed or gendered wording such that steps can be taken to ensure the applicability of the ERA.
North Carolina found that edits are necessary 45,000 out of 47,000 pages, Illinois’s is 1,872 pages, and Arizona’s is 652 pages. Lawyers are said to have not expected laws to be this gendered, further confirming the need for the ERA to those who say women and men are already equal. The law itself, and studies of the law, says otherwise.
Women’s rights are still being legislated, which shows just how much the ERA is really needed. As Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney of New York said, “With women’s rights in the Constitution, we wouldn’t be dependent on who’s in Congress, who’s on the Supreme Court, or who’s in the White House.”
It is our hope that Biden includes the ERA as the means to solving women’s inequality in tonight’s State of the Union Address. We hope that in Wednesday’s analysis of his speech, we will write about his use of the Equal Rights Amendment in women’s equality, rather than when he should have used it.