The Equal Rights Amendment of the USA constitution is considered a political and cultural inkblot with uncertain changes on the status of women. Its purpose is to invalidate any state and federal laws discriminating against women. According to the provision, sex should not be used to determine a person’s legal rights. Since its introduction in 1923, it has paused a great debate with vigorous opposition and support.
This is because of the varied and contradicting interpretations of its intent and repercussions. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States constitution was initiated in 1868. The bill aimed to grant African Americans and enslaved people and all those emancipated after the civil war citizenship and equality in civil and legal rights. It is also termed as the reconstruction amendment that prohibited any government from limiting any person’s right to life, liberty, or property.
The fourteenth amendment bears some similarities with the equal rights amendment. Both amendments seek to promote equality for all populations born or naturalized in the United States of America. The two amendments were ratified to ensure the political representation of every person. These constitutional changes, however, have some essential differences. Unlike the fourteenth amendment, the Equal Rights Amendment aimed to empower women, and it sought to ensure women were allowed to exercise their civil rights.
Though presumed to protect women to a smaller extent, the fourteenth amendment has no specifications that protect them. This is, however, disputed because, in the effort to give enslaved people citizenship and voting rights, it specified equality for only enslaved men. Women, on the other hand, were excluded regardless of race. A detailed analysis of the two amendments proves that though they have some slight similarities, they deal with separate concepts. The fourteenth amendments specifically sought to fight for enslaved men and excluded women of all races, and it was also aimed at granting enslaved people’s citizenship. The equal rights amendment only sought to solve discrimination against women.
Murphy, B. L. (2018). The equal rights amendment revisited. Notre Dame L. Rev., 94, 937.
Young, E. A. (2018). Dying Constitutionalism and the Fourteenth Amendment. Marq. L. Rev., 102, 949.