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Civil rights

History

2009

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

A New E.R.A. Or A New Era? Amendment Advocacy And The Reconstitution Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri Jan 2009

A New E.R.A. Or A New Era? Amendment Advocacy And The Reconstitution Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Scholars have largely treated the reintroduction of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) after its ratification failure in 1982 as a mere postscript to a long, hard-fought, and ultimately unsuccessful campaign to enshrine women’s legal equality in the federal constitution. This Article argues that “ERA II” was instead an important turning point in the history of legal feminism and of constitutional amendment advocacy. Whereas ERA I had once attracted broad bipartisan support, ERA II was a partisan political weapon exploited by advocates at both ends of the ideological spectrum. But ERA II also became a vehicle for feminist reinvention. Congressional ...