The Stealth Equal Rights Amendment

by D. J. Connolly

Radical feminists have long opposed single-sex-education in America, holding that it's unfair and unnatural.  There are good arguments to counter that position; so many Americans, perhaps most Americans, reject it.  Consequently, the radical feminist lobby had no luck getting the practice banned through state or federal legislation or constitutional amendment.

So it decided to take its problem to the judicial usurpation industry, which assures its clients that "We the People" are naive enough to accept any policy change the Supreme Court claims is rooted in the Constitution.  The industry's representatives in the Clinton Justice Department chose the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), a 150-year-old state-funded military college, as a target.   VMI's stated mission was;

"to produce educated and honorable men, prepared for the varied work of civil life, imbued with love of learning, confident in the functions and attitudes of leadership, possessing a high sense of public service, advocates of the American democracy and free enterprise system, and ready as citizen soldiers to defend their country in time of national peril."
Its "adversative" (that means painful and in-your-face) training methods had produced many successful military leaders.  VMI's 150-year-old tradition held that female inclusion would destroy the military culture that allowed the use of those methods.  Of course, destroying that culture was the feminist lobby's real goal [1].

In 1997, the Supreme Court ordered VMI to scrap its 150 year-old tradition.  The Court said that the 14th Amendment demands gender equity in every state-funded program unless the state has a politically correct reason to deny it.  That is not an exact quote, but it cuts through the fog and captures the justices' meaning [2].

The 14th Amendment has been on the books since 1868.  And VMI's men-only tradition is even older than that.  So one wonders why it took 129 years to discover that the Amendment required VMI to change its ways.

Let's play with the following idea.  Suppose that our forefathers had been warned, back in 1868, that the Supreme Court would one day use the 14th Amendment to force places like VMI to admit girls.  Do you suppose they would have allowed it to be ratified as written?

No way!  The people back then would have thought girls in military school was a terrible idea.  They also did not trust the Supreme Court, which they viewed as "a diseased member of the body politic" that was at risk of "amputation."  We had just suffered through a Civil War in which some half-million people died.  The Supreme Court had helped cause that war [3].


I recently entered the keywords "gender equity legislation" in the window of a commercial search engine and hit the "enter" key.  I was rewarded with 177,000 hits.  Evidently, there's no shortage of legislation on the subject of "gender equity."  Responding to the desires of the voters, legislators have been passing "gender equity" laws at least since 1964.  And that's exactly the way government should work, laws should change in response to votes.  Women cast more than half the votes in America, so they probably have about as much gender equity as they collectively want [4].

However, a radical minority of women demand societal changes that their more normal sisters (and maybe even nature) are not willing to support.  The judicial usurpation industry saw a business opportunity in that demand; however, it wasn't easy to devise a way to pursue that opportunity.  Excepting the 19th Amendment, which only addressed gender equity in voting rights, there is not now and never was a "gender equity" mandate in the Constitution.  The best story line the industry could come up with involved the 14th Amendment, which was a poor example of gender equity.  The Amendment's Section 2 mandated that a state suffer diminished representation in Congress unless it allowed all its "male" citizens to vote.  Of course, the 19th Amendment rendered that part of Section 2 legally moot, but it didn't remove the conclusive historical proof that the 14th Amendment's framers and ratifiers had no intention of including sex as a protected category [5].

Nevertheless, the U. S. Supreme Court, after a serious talk with lawyers from the Clinton Justice Department and other elements of the judicial usurpation industry, proclaimed that the 14th Amendment demands gender equity in state controlled programs.  Do you maybe smell a rat here?  The Court would have us believe that the 14th Amendment violates the 14th Amendment.

In 1920, 52 years after the Fourteenth Amendment supposedly mandated gender equity, the states ratified the 19th Amendment which ordered that women thereafter have the right to vote.  That's all.  It did not mention gender equity except in voting rights.  Furthermore, nobody explained why we needed the 19th Amendment in 1920 if the 52-year-old 14th Amendment already required gender equity [5].

Groups that had promoted the Nineteenth Amendment then began working to get an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) passed.   For half-a-century or so, the public didn't buy the idea.  However, by the early 1970's, its time seemed to have come.  In 1972 both houses of Congress passed legislation to propose the ERA to the states.  All that remained was for three-quarters of the states to ratify it.  At first it seemed that would be no problem; most people liked the idea of equal rights in the abstract.  So, for a while, things sailed right along [6].

But then somebody said: 'Hey! What do you suppose the Supreme Court might do with the ERA?  Look at what the Court's been doing lately without it.'  This caused a lot of people to rethink their views on the proposed Amendment.  They had many concerns.

The courts would probably use it to outlaw places like VMI.  Maybe judges would use it to order the government to pay for abortions.  Maybe they would require that women be equally subject to military draft and combat duty.  Maybe the courts would use it to order an end to single sex public toilets.  People had told pollsters that they favored equal rights for women.  However, when they heard what the judges might interpret that to mean, they changed their minds in a hurry [6].

The voters did not have a direct say in whether or not their states would ratify the ERA.  Only their state legislators got to vote on that.  However, in some states, the people did have a chance to vote on the principle of constitutionally mandated gender equity.  Those states considered adding ERA's to their own constitutions.  Voting on proposed state ERA's gave "We the People" a chance to show what we really thought about the federal ERA.

Florida voted on a proposed state ERA in 1978.  Early polls said it would win by two to one.  However, before the election, interested groups campaigned for and against it.  Opponents warned the voters about what the courts might do with it.  For the most part, advocates agreed with the opponents' claims about what the courts might do.  They said that was exactly why they wanted it.  The people listened to both sides.  When election time came, they voted down the Florida ERA by a two to one margin [6].

Maine had an election to ratify a proposed state ERA in 1984.  Polls a month before the election said that 62 percent of the voters would vote yes.  After hearing both sides of the story, 63 percent voted no.  Like the state ERA's, the federal ERA lost its appeal to the voters when they heard what the courts might do with it.  The drive to ratify it came to a screeching halt [6].

When the people refused to amend the Constitution to require gender equity, our employees on the Supreme Court decided to do it for them.  They said, in effect, ‘to hell with "We the People."  If they won't give us the ERA, we'll just discover it in the 14th Amendment.'


You might be surprised to learn that a Supreme Court justice admitted publicly that the Court slipped the ERA, which "We the People" had rejected, into the bogus constitution that the Court uses instead of the real one.  She didn't use exactly those words.  But she admitted it.

In 1997, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave a talk at the University of Virginia Law School.  There she was quoted as saying that she still wanted the ERA in the Constitution as "a symbol."  However, Justice Ginsberg allowed that it didn't really make much difference.  She said that "what has evolved" was pretty much the same as the ERA [7].

"What has evolved"?  That implies it happened all by itself with no human intervention.  "What has evolved" was fabricated by fraudulent Supreme Court opinions.  Justice Ginsberg had written the VMI decision; her opinion laid out the "constitutional" principle that the 14th Amendment outlaws almost any state action or program which does not treat men and women the same.  The Supreme Court can bless different treatment for men and women in cases where the justices opine that it is politically correct.  In any other cases, the 14th Amendment sternly forbids it.  The foregoing, of course, is not an exact quote, but it's close enough [2].

If the VMI opinion was based on the 14th Amendment in the real Constitution, Ruth Bader Ginsberg is Helen of Troy.  Maybe the ruling was based on the bogus constitution that the Supreme Court made up over the years; or maybe it was an amendment to the bogus constitution.  It doesn't really matter.  Our judicial employees all took an oath to uphold the real Constitution, the one that begins "We the People."  In voting for the VMI ruling they violated that oath.  No big surprise, they do that several times each year.


1.  Quotations are from the majority opinion in United States v. Virginia.

2.  The VMI decision can be found on the Internet at a web site operated by Cornell University.  See also the online essay Our Evolving Constitution.

3.  See the online essays Unnatural Selection and A Scam is Born.

4.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed employment discrimination on the basis of sex.  A copy of the Act can be found online.

5.  A copy of the Constitution can be found on the Internet.

6.  See Mansbridge, Jane J., Why We lost the ERA, University of Chicago Press, 1986, Chapters 2, 7, and 9.

7.  I found reference to Ruth Bader Ginsburg's remarks on the evolution of the ERA in "Steamrolled and Bulldozed," an essay by John Leo in USN&WR, May 19, 1997, page 17.  According to Leo, an article in The Women's Quarterly entitled "How we Got the ERA" covers more or less the same ground as this essay.



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This article is based on Chapter 13 of The Temple of Karnak: How Rogue Judges Have Been Strangling Your Democracy.   Se also the September 2008 work, Grand Larceny: An Unexpurgated History of the Supreme Court.


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D. J. Connolly