The Opportunity to Use the Direct Ballot Initiative Process to Amend State Constitutions: A New State-by-State Approach for the Federal Equal Rights Amendment
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AbstractThis thesis investigates the plausibility of a new state-by-state strategy of amending state constitutions with the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) via direct ballot initiative helping build momentum to ultimately ratify the federal ERA.
I have analyzed the federal ERA’s lack of success over the last ninety-four years to determine there is a dissonance between elected officials and popular opinion concerning the ERA. I have also concluded that one political party has used the ERA and restriction of women’s rights as a political tool to build their base.
After my recent experience in initiating and chairing the Oregon ERA ballot initiative, I have determined that a state-by-state strategy could bring the needed awareness and momentum to help ratify the ERA in the U.S. Constitution because it would expand the pool of ERA proponents at a local level.
This research determined that sixteen states were possible for a state-by-state strategy and I selected Ohio and Missouri for further research for this thesis. My research found that citizens in Ohio and Missouri support a state ERA via ballot initiative as well as citizens across the nation. ERA proponents in Ohio are receptive to the state-by-state strategy. Further research with ERA proponents in Ohio revealed key differences in the political, cultural and administrative aspects that would play a role in the success of the state-by-state strategy.
Bringing state ERA’s directly to the citizens via ballot initiative is the best path forward to also build momentum toward ultimate ratification of the federal ERA.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:37736745