Braceras’s full testimony can be found HERE.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) announced today that Jennifer C. Braceras, director of the Independent Women’s Law Center, will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary at 10 a.m. EST tomorrow, February 28, on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
The ERA was introduced to Congress in 1971, and in 1972 Congress sent the ERA to the states for ratification within seven years. Thirty-five states voted in favor of the proposed amendment — three short of the thirty-eight needed for ratification. And in 1979, it expired.
Although the deadline for ratification has long passed, Nevada voted in favor of the amendment in 2017; Illinois approved it in 2018; and Virginia did so in 2020.
The Senate hearing will examine whether Congress has the authority in 2023 to retroactively lift the ERA’s deadline and declare it law of the land.
Braceras will argue that the ERA is outdated and unnecessary and that because of this we can’t possibly know whether the 35 states that voted for it in the early ‘70s would do so today.
Braceras will highlight the ways in which adopting the ERA today would lead to the elimination of single-sex spaces and programs designed specifically to benefit women and girls.
- Jennifer C. Braceras, Director, Independent Women’s Law Center
- The Honorable Juliana Stratton, Lieutenant Governor, State of Illinois
- Kathleen M. Sullivan, Senior Counsel, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
- Thursday Williams, College Student & Former Cast Member of What the Constitution Means to Me, ERA Coalition Board Member
- Elizabeth Price Foley, Professor of Law, Florida International University College of Law
In her testimony, Braceras writes, in part, “To declare now that the 1972 ERA is part of the Constitution would be to force a trojan horse upon the American people by hijacking the votes of the members of Congress and thousands of state legislators who consented to a very different proposition back in the early 1970s (and to a specific resolution that contained a definitive deadline).”
Specific areas of concern surrounding the Equal Rights Amendment that Braceras will focus on in her testimony include the:
- Elimination of single-sex spaces: prisons, restrooms, publicly funded women’s shelters, dorm rooms, and athletic teams;
- Inherent safety and security risks for women and girls in adopting an amendment that expired decades ago; and
- Attempts by states to add the ERA to the U.S. Constitution without the consent of the governed.
During her testimony, Braceras will:
- Set the record straight when activists and politicians claim the 1970s ERA as the law of the land;
- Emphasize that women and men are legally equal but not the same; and
- Warn about the dangerous consequences of adopting the ERA in 2023.
WHAT: The U.S. Senate Committee on Judiciary Hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment
WHO: Minority Witness Jennifer C. Braceras, director of the Independent Women’s Law Center
WHEN: Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at 10 a.m. EST
WHERE: Dirksen Senate Office Building
WHY: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from Minority Witness Jennifer C. Braceras on the expired Equal Rights Amendment