It was an exciting day today for many of us. Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum, the Constitutional lawyer who is given credit around the nation for defeating ERA back in the 70's and 80's, flew in from Illinois to testify against the bill. David Pryor, our former senator and governor, spoke for the bill and sat at the sponsor's (Rep Lindsley Smith) side for an hour and a half while they presented the ERA and answered questions from the committee members.
The committee vote was 10-10. Smith needed 11 votes to get the ERA bill out of committee and onto the House floor. The yeas were Reps. Cheatham, Wagner, Hall, Sumpter, Saunders, Wood, E. Brown, Edwards, Pate, and Harrelson. The nays were Reps. Reynolds, Lovell, Green, Hardwick, Pace, Harris, Evans, Jeffrey, Adcock, and Greenberg.An amendment was also added to the bill allowing 20 sponsors of the bill to withdraw their names.
Arkansas Times blog lists the names of the sponsors who withdrew their names (I presume they are correct) as the following: Tommy Lee Baker of Osceola, Toni Bradford of Pine Bluff (a woman), Eddie Cooper of Melbourne, Larry Cowling of Foreman, Otis Davis of Earle, David Dunn of Forrest City, Curren Everett of Salem, Nathan George of Dardanelle, Clark Hall of Malvern, Eddie Hawkins of Vilonia, Johnny Hoyt of Morrilton, Ray Kidd of Jonesboro, Buddy Lovell of Marked Tree, Allen Maxwell of Monticello, Mike Patterson of Piggot, Lance Reynolds of Quitman, Bill Sample of Hot Springs, Scott Sullivan of DeQueen, David Wyatt of Batesville.
Arkansas Times calls them the 20 cowards. We would call them judicious – and humble for being willing to act on the facts presented to them, facts of which they weren't aware when they signed on to the bill.
More details will be coming later. You can watch the edited
video of Rep. Lindsley Smith, David Pryor, and Phylis Schlafly's presentations before the committee. Believe me, Schlafly's presentation is worth watching.
I noted after watching the video of Schlafly that Arkansas Times blog edited that they slyly left out the main point of Schlafly's presentation. Schlafly used Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's book on how the ERA Amendment would affect state and federal laws, saying a Supreme Court Justice would surely be an authority on just what the ERA Amendment would do.
The main points of her presentation about the radical changes ERA would bring were taken out of Ginsburg's book. Schlafly held up the book by Ginsburg several times in her presentation. I noted in the edited video of Schlafly's presentation on the ARkansas Times blog that there was not one reference made to Ginsburg's book nor one clip where Schlafly was holding up the book. Arkansas Times blog - Sly, yes. Dishonest, yes. Afraid of the truth. You bet!
Here is the link: