SIU Law Professor Says Illinois Needs to Ratify ERA Amendment

A professor at the SIU School of Law says ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment is the right thing for the State of Illinois to do.

Cindy Buys spoke in Springfield Wednesday on behalf of the Illinois State Bar Association. She says the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment doesn't necessarily include women because women didn't have the right to vote at that time.
"That is really what has led to comments by justices, like Justice Scalia, who has said that women are not protected by the constitution because that is not what was intended when the 14th Amendment was passed. So, we really need an amendment to make sure that women do have the same rights as men in the constitution."

She doesn't agree with opponents who claim there are absolute rules in the constitution.
"There are always going to be levels of scrutiny applied by the Court. There are always going to be examinations of governmental motives. There's always going to be a balancing of the public interest and the government interest. If there are concerns about safety and national security and good logical reasons to make distinctions between the sexes, then those may still be allowed."

An Illinois House committee was set for a historic floor vote on the Equal Rights Amendment Wednesday, but, the Democrat sponsoring the measure said he doesn't have enough votes to pass it yet.