The Right Time For Equal Rights And Questioning Barr On the Mueller Report
The Right Time for Equal Rights
By Natalie Wexler
On Tuesday, April 30th actress Patricia Arquette spoke to the House Judiciary Committee for a historic hearing for the Equal Rights Amendment. Many women activists were seated behind her including Democratic Representative Jackie Speier from California who is currently sponsoring the bill before Congress for the 12th time, Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney from N.Y. who is a co-sponsor of the bill, and outspoken women’s rights celebrity Alyssa Milano.
In 1972, Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment, which stated that civil rights may not be denied to someone based on their sex. The amendment never went into the Constitution as it did not get approved by ¾ or 38/50 states by the 1982 deadline.
Thirty-six years later, the amendment is again being brought to Congress as supporters are pushing for it to get passed in a country that is very different from the one that denied it in 1982.
The Constitution of the United States of America grants many protections, specifically when it comes to legal protections. But the document, written in a time where women had even less opportunity and rights than they have now, didn’t contain any language that specifically protected women, a group of people who face discrimination of a regular basis.
Some Conservatives are arguing that there is no need for this amendment since equal rights fall under the 14th amendments equal protections clause; they fear that by adding the amendment, access to abortion, another topic currently making waves, will be increased. Yet, this amendment isn’t even abortion.
The Equal Rights Amendment failed to be ratified in 1982 because not enough states approved it. This time around, Democratic Representative Jackie Speier from California wants to remove a time limit for ratifying the amendment so it will automatically be passed the second the 38th state approves it.
Getting an Equal Rights Amendment passed will be an uphill battle, but one that once it is won will hopefully offer more opportunities and protections to all Americans.
Bustle wrote a great quick article explaining the importance of passing the Equal Rights Amendment, and you can read it here:
It’s Grilling Season in Washington
By Natalie Wexler
Backyard barbecues aren’t the only locations for grilling this summer, so are Senate Hearings, at least when Senator Kamala Harris is the one asking the questions. Harris is a Democratic senator and presidential candidate who recently made headlines for her questioning of United States Attorney General William Barr regarding his handling of the Mueller Report.
The Mueller Report was no stranger to the headlines prior to the hearing. Many were criticizing the sheer amount of time it took to complete and the fact that it was being released to the public with redactions as opposed to the full version.
One of the most shocking pieces of information revealed from the hearing was the fact that Barr hadn’t reviewed Mueller’s evidence prior to deciding not to charge President Trump with obstruction of justice. This is essentially the equivalent of diagnosing a patient without seeing them first or writing a book report without reading the book first. Essentially, Barr was the United States Attorney General in name, not action.
Barr knew he was in hot water for his actions or lack thereof because by the end of his grilling session by Harris he was looking behind him for his lawyer. The irony of the fact a licensed attorney was nervous and looking for his attorney when answering questions under oath stands for itself.
During the hearing, Senator Harris proved why she stands a chance of becoming the Democratic nominee with her keen ability to know what questions to ask.