Florida Democrats Attempt to Revive ‘Equal Rights Amendment’

Florida Democrats Attempt to Revive ‘Equal Rights Amendment’

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
|
November 23, 2023

Florida Representative Kelly Skidmore (D) has floored a bill that would have Florida the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratified by Congress in 1972. 

Democrats have reignited efforts to ratify the amendment to counteract the US Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade via Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. 

The ERA states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

According to a report by the Heritage Foundation, American laws have evolved to already provide such legal protections. 

However, some Democrats consider the ERA would outlaw any legal distinction based on sex, thereby nullifying any abortion restrictions, which are inherently focused on women. 

A problem that is alluded to by Representative Skidmore’s bill but not fully explained is that of the deadline for the ERA’s ratification. Originally, the ERA passed by Congress mandated states had a deadline that was extended until 1982 to ratify the ERA. 

Evidently, such deadline is long-gone and insufficient states ratified the ERA prior to the deadline’s maturation. 

Earlier in April, the Senate failed to pass a resolution that would retroactively extend the 1982 deadline and permit states to ratify the ERA. 

Despite the resolutions' failure, Florida Democrats may still want Florida to ratify the ERA in case the deadline is ever extended and the ERA revived. 

However, Florida Republicans, who have positioned themselves as staunch pro-life supporters, may not be in the mood to pass the ERA any time soon. 

Recently, Miami Beach Representative Fabian Basabe (R), filed a bill that would prohibit abortions after 12-weeks of gestation. 

Representative Basabe’s filing follows two similar 15-week and 6-week bans enacted by the Florida legislature last year.

 Due to legal challenges against the 15-week ban, the Florida Supreme Court is set to rule on the ban’s constitutionality, potentially eliminating both the 15 and 6 week bans if found unconstitutional.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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