Firing Line: William F. Buckley, Ann Scott and Phyllis Schlafly- The Equal Rights Amendment in 1973
I believe all good Americans across the political spectrum believe in equal rights for all people. That there’s now a consensus that’s still growing as we get younger and more liberal as a country that we shouldn’t be allowed especially the public sector, to be able to discriminate against anyone based on their race, ethnicity, gender, color, creed, nationality, religion and now even sexuality. That in a liberal democracy like America, free people meaning free people not a particular type of people, have the constitutional right to live freely and not be harassed by government.
No American under the U.S. Constitution can be discriminated for the reasons I just laid out by the public or private sectors. That it says in the U.S. Constitution that all men meaning people, not just men, have the constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That these are constitutional rights. And if you’re a Constitutional Constructionist like US Justice Antonin Scalia, you take those words to mean exactly that. Even though our Founding Fathers when they wrote the U.S. Constitution didn’t mean those constitutional rights to apply to everyone. And things like laws attempting to block people from eating, voting, working, going to school, just because of their race, just to use as examples, are unconstitutional on their face. Because they violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The question is how best to enforce these constitutional rights. How best for government to enforce them. To me those enforcements are already there in the U.S. Constitution. And thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, Fair Housing Law of 1968, Federal, state and local government’s, can no longer get way without enforcing these constitutional rights for everyone. The problem during the civil rights debates of the 1950s and 60s wasn’t our Constitution. The problem was that not everyone and several states weren’t enforcing our constitutional rights equally. But those laws cleared that up and now if people are unfairly discriminated against, they can take legal and civil action against that.
People are unjustly discriminated, now have recourse with either the executive or judicial branches, they can file a complaint with either or take the people who they believed unfairly discriminated against them to civil court and get their case heard. And if they win be rewarded at the expense of the defendant, for the discrimination they suffered. The reason why I’m not in favor of an Equal Rights Amendment, even though I’m a Liberal Democrat, because it’s not needed. It would simply be an addition to what’s already there under the U.S. Constitution. All men and women have to be treated equally under law. The law can’t discriminate based on gender or race as well as the other distinctions.