One of President Kamala Harris' first orders of business would be to accomplish a second-wave feminist dream, according to comments she made during a live podcast taping in Iowa last weekend. Asked what she would do for women during her first 100 days if she won the presidency, Sen. Harris (D-Calif.) said: "Passing the ERA, let's start there."
That would be the Equal Rights Amendment, a long sought and mostly symbolic measure saying that women have the same rights in the U.S. as men. ("Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.") For this to make sense in 2019, you have to assume that all of the mentions of mankind, etc., in the Constitution don't currently include women and that only documents and laws officially referencing women do.
Some ERA advocates will point out that in practice, women still face discrimination. But that's not for lack of legal guidance, and adding another federal mandate isn't going to make everyone in the country not sexist.
It's telling, however, that Harris' answer here was to focus on a go-nowhere ra-ra-girl-power measure rather than anything that could actually improve women's lives. Criminal justice reform? Over-the-counter birth control? Stopping the separation of immigrant mothers from their children? Nah—something that sounds nice, changes nothing, and endears her to all those deep-pocketed boomer feminists and the kind of women who hold protest signs that say "If Hillary were president, we'd be at brunch."
The ERA needs the approval of 38 states to be ratified. So far, it has never been able to get past 37.
During the podcast, Harris also signaled that she would introduce nationwide public-school kindergarten and "a national policy for affordable childcare."
Bad digital regulations abound. Thailand is cracking down on the internet, with what "internet freedom activists have called…'cyber martial law,'" reports Reuters.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., Democrats are pushing a "data privacy" bill that would bar businesses, nonprofits, and others from targeting ads toward specific demographic groups. The law is being pushed as somehow anti-discriminatory, but it would effectively prevent groups—including those geared at only women, LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants from a certain area, or whatever category—from explicitly targeting the people they want to reach.
Crowding out home child care. Niskanen Center analyst Samuel Hammond tweets us through the flaws in Sen. Elizabeth Warren's child care proposal. Click through for the whole thread.
— Samuel Hammond
- Joe Biden remains mysteriously popular.
If the Democratic primary for president were held today …
(UNH Granite State Poll, likely 2020 Democratic primary voters, 2/18-26/19) pic.twitter.com/BwnNSAjUQo
— PollingReport.com (@pollreport) February 28, 2019
- "Meet the pilot who may have averted an India-Pakistan war."
- In case you missed it yesterday, my latest on the Florida massage-palor stings:
"No one in this case was arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking, forced labor, compelling prostitution, or any other charge that implies force, fraud, or coercion in the arrangement."—@ENBrown's latest. https://t.co/3ln9n3AXqn
— Matt Welch (@MattWelch) February 28, 2019
- Good news:
Wow, a bill that creates a conviction requirement for civil asset forfeiture proceedings just passed the Arkansas (yes, Arkansas!) Senate UNANIMOUSLY. Times are a'changing. https://t.co/MxCk9qZg1k
— Lauren Krisai (@laurenkrisai) February 28, 2019
- Greetings from CPAC:
Fun with socialism at CPAC: Rep. Jordan tells a crowd that this the crop of Dem 2020 contenders are doing what Democrats have NEVER DONE BEFORE: running as socialists instead of centrists. Minutes later, Matt Schlapp mentions the "eight years of socialism we had under Obama"
— Andrew Egger (@EggerDC) February 28, 2019
Start your day with Reason. Get a daily brief of the most important stories and trends every weekday morning when you subscribe to Reason Roundup.