Arizona: Rusty Bowers and Eddie Farnsworth Build Gender Wall

Why is Rusty Bowers trying to convince Americans that our daughters are already protected from gender based discrimination under the United States Constitution when they are not?

photo of rusty bowers, arizona house speaker
Rusty Bowers
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Does Rusty Bowers know something that women don’t?

Does Rusty Bowers have the inside scoop over Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the late Justice, Antonin Scalia who have both gone on record confirming that the Constitution does not protect females from discrimination?

Hard to believe this argument is STILL being used by lawmakers who, if nothing else, should know that the Constitution only gives women equality when it comes to voting.

No other constitutional right is guaranteed for women, and men like Rusty Bowers and Eddie Farnsworth of Arizona aim to keep it that way.

Who Are Rusty Bowers and Eddie Farnsworth

Rusty Bowers is the Speaker of the House for Arizona. He controls whether or not a proposed laws get assigned to committees. Since coming into session on January 14, 2019, Rusty Bowers has refused to assign the Equal Rights Amendment to a committee; and without assignment, Constitutional Equal Rights for females, cannot be voted on.

photo image of eddie farnsworth. he is an Arizona state senator.
Eddie Farnsworth – Photo by Gage Skidmore

Eddie Farnsworth is the Chairman of the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee. The Chairman controls the scheduling of hearings for bills that have been assigned. The Equal Rights Amendment has been assigned in the past, but Chairman Eddie Farnsworth has not scheduled hearings.

Together, Arizona’s Rusty Bowers and Eddie Farnsworth have complete control over 2 things.

  1. They control whether Arizona becomes the 38th state to ratify the Equal rights Amendment
  2. They control whether or not Arizona citizens get the benefit of knowing exactly where their elected representative stands on approving the Equal Rights Amendment.

“Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.” 

The Amendment Bowers and Farnsworth are Blocking

Possible Reasons for Blocking the Vote

So why in the world would two men tasked with the job of assigning bills and scheduling hearings refuse to do so? One theory is that these refusals to advance the Equal Rights Amendment are entirely strategic.

If the Equal Rights Amendment moves to a vote, Arizona legislators would have to go on record as to whether or not they want to see America’s Mothers and Daughters as equals. That’s a pretty big sticking point with female voters so it’s no wonder elected officials who oppose equal rights being written into the law of the land, don’t want their opinion to go on record.

And with Arizona’s legislative session ending in the 4th week of April, if Rusty Bowers and Eddie Farnsworth can hold out a little while longer; the Equal Rights Amendment goes away for another year and perhaps forever.

Voters in Arizona could conceivably head into the 2020 election (when all representatives are up for re-election) without the privilege of knowing where their district leader stands on the issue of equal rights for women. Mission accomplished?

Documented Reasons for Blocking the Vote

So, the above is just theoretical reasoning. But apparently, we do have some actual, documented reasons (from Rusty Bowers anyway).

In his own words, according to abc15Arizona, Rusty Bowers gave 3 reasons for killing the Equal Rights Amendment

  1. Rusty believes the constitution already protects against gender discrimination.
  2. Rusty said the deadline for ratification has passed.
  3. Rusty said the amendment doesn’t have the votes.

Let’s look at all 3 of Rusty’s reasons individually.

Reason 1 – Rusty Bowers said the Constitution already protects against gender discrimination

Rusty wants Arizona voters to believe that there is no need to give equal rights to women via the Equal Rights Amendment because women are already protected under the Constitution.

Fact: No, it does not.

Who do You Trust to Interpret The Constitution?

Interestingly enough, at least 2 Supreme Court Justices, (you know, the people in charge of upholding the constitution) have gone on record, producing statements that squash Rusty’s’ claim.

Here is a quote from the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia:

Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia – In speaking of the US Constitution 2010
And here is a video clip of an interview with Supreme Court Justice Scalia and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who explains the important difference between laws and the Constitution.
2016 – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Adding The Equal Rights Amendment to The United States Constitution.

Rusty’s claim that women are already protected from gender discrimination under the current US Constitution is simply not true.

Reason 2 – Rusty Doesn’t Assign the Equal Rights Amendment Because Deadline Passed.

Rusty is technically correct, however a missed deadline does not preclude Rusty from assigning the bill. In fact, if Rusty had sincere interest in advancing equal rights, he might take comfort in the fact that old amendments have been brought back to life after achieving state ratification.

It took the 27th amendment 202 years to be ratified by states and become part of the United States Constitution. You’ve got to think positive Rusty!

Reason 3 – Rusty Said the Equal Rights Amendment Doesn’t Have the Votes

There are so many painful realizations in this statement…

First, saying the amendment doesn’t have the votes means someone is actually collecting unofficial votes. Unofficial votes make it impossible for voters to make fully informed decisions in the November, 2020 election.

Second, an elected official’s stance on Equal Rights should not be privileged information. The people of Arizona deserve to know exactly what Rusty knows and how he came to know it.

Third, not having the votes does not preclude Rusty from assigning a bill. Surely bills get assigned that have very little chance of becoming law, so this reason feels particularly void of good intentions.

Believing Rusty

So let’s give Rusty the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Rusty is not circumventing equal rights, perhaps he (like many other Americans) really believes that females have protection from sex discrimination via the Constitution.

If that’s the case, then what’s the problem with assigning the Amendment? I mean, if he truly believes it to already be in existence, then what’s the problem with it really existing?

“Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.” 

Proposed Equal Rights Amendment – Blocked from Vote Call

What Can An Voters Do?

Perhaps the only way for the Equal Rights Amendment to get a vote in Arizona, is to elect legislators who will, at the very least, assign the Equal Rights Amendment to a committee and schedule hearings. But it’s always worth trying to effect change with the current powers that be.

First, you can call Rusty Bowers and Eddie Farnsworth and voice your concerns.

Rusty Bowers Phone Number: (602) 926-3128
  • help Rusty understand the difference between legislation and the Constitution.
  • explain how women are, in fact, not given the same status as men under the Untied States Constitution. This really needs to be clarified.
  • ask Rusty Bowers to assign the Equal Rights Amendment to a committee. If it doesn’t have the votes….so be it.
Eddie Farnsworth Phone Number: (602) 926-5735
  • call Eddie and ask him to schedule a hearing for the Equal Rights Amendment.

When Calls Dont work

Unfortuantely, sometimes calls for fairness and calls for equality do go unanswered. If this happens, resolution begins at the polls on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020. All members of Arizona’s Congress and Senate are up for re-election, including Rusty Bowers and Eddie Farnsworth.

You could elect representatives to power who will put all bills in motion.

Hear Me Roar 2020 writes articles to raise awareness on discriminatory practices occurring around the nation that rescind or impede advancements in gender equality. We also highlight 2020 candidates running for State Legislator, Congress and the Presidency, in order to identify their stance on the issues. You can read our debut post HERE: Debut Post

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