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Let’s Give Credit Where It’s Due: Stan Scott (Dem Candidate for the 4th State Senate seat) did Offer This Defense of the ERA!

And here it is (a comment at this blog on January 11, 2019):

In any event, Virginia’s General Assembly should ratify the Equal Rights Amendment because it’s the right thing to do. Government should not privilege either men or women with respect to rights (voting, domestic law) or responsibilities (military service). Nor should Government privilege institutions (e.g., with tax exemptions) that discriminate on race, gender, or any other grounds whether or not justified by religious (or for that matter any other) doctrine. The ERA is necessary because Government still privileges both individuals and institutions in these ways. And it’s only dangerous to those whose power depends on this discrimination. This is, by the way, a Libertarian view insofar as it limits the power of government to manage society (e. g., by deciding what does and does not constitute a “religion”).

I would say that not all distinctions between men and women are or should be unequal or illegal. Have to review on a case by case basis. Gender is not like race or color – seldom would a governmental distinction based on race (unless it is a narrowly-tailored remedy for past discrimination) be legal or should be. But gender is different. A society CAN (and should) say: No drafting of women for combat, for example.

Stan Scott, by the way, is a friend of mine and we’ve worked together on projects and ideas (yes some politics too – mostly recruiting Dems to support him and ideas to talk about. Will Scott be the first to talk up indigent defense?). He’s a solid candidate, very intelligent, articulate, a progressive (But agrees that the COPN must go and also more transparency concerning EDAs!) and I am glad he is running to give voters in the Fourth Senate District a choice. I expect to still vote for Ryan McDougle in November (especially after reading Stan’s ideas on guns! Background checks for family transfers?). My advice to Senator McDougle: Take Scott seriously.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

3 Responses to “Let’s Give Credit Where It’s Due: Stan Scott (Dem Candidate for the 4th State Senate seat) did Offer This Defense of the ERA!”

  1. Thanks for the kind words, Sandy. Just a couple of things:

    First, I would challenge your claim that gender is not like race or color. It’s certainly immutable and out of any individual’s control – we’re born the way we are in each of these respects. So I have to disagree that we should allow Government to treat one differently than the other. Doing so lets Government designate social roles, and whether or not you like this idea might depend on who controls government.

    I’d also like to know just why you think government should draft men but not women for military service in combat. I’ve served with women who could excel in these roles as well as men who could not, so I wonder why you think Government should discriminate on an arbitrary criteria like gender. If we’re forcing some citizens to defend the country in a national emergency I can’t think of any reason to do this to men but not to women. Men should not be forced to carry the entire combat load and women who want to help and qualify should have an opportunity to do so.

    With respect to guns, I don’t see any reason why Government should treat a firearm transfer between family members differently from any other transfer. Lots of people keep secrets from family members.

    Finally, we do in fact agree that Virginia should expand the indigent defense system and end cash bail, and I would do this as part of a broader criminal justice reform program. I agree that certificates of public need interfere with health care markets and we need to look at reform or repeal. And Economic Development Authorities also distort markets and create a pathway for corruption in government. I’m not sure they develop local economies any more effectively than a free market would.

    Yes, I’m running to give voters a choice, but also to give regular people a voice. Too many politicians take campaign money from corporations and lobbyists and then forget about their constituents’ needs. And this is easier when they have no electoral opposition. We disagree on most policy issues but we can agree on one thing: our elected leaders should serve us, not corporations and lobbyists.

  2. Stan:

    Another excellent retort. You make me wish I had run as a Libertarian for the Fourth! I would always have debated you at any forum even if the incumbent did not show for some reason!

    I agree gender is immutable. But there are legitimate differences between the genders that cannot be overcome and require different responses. Bathrooms, motherhood and sexual privacy are three issues right there. That is why the law treats gender-based distinctions differently from race-based distinctions. Race requires a much higher scrutiny by courts on government action than gender.

    I would suggest that there are norms that every civilized society must follow and one of them is that a civilized society does not draft women to fight in war. If the US ever does that, you’ll see this blogger turn into the world’s oldest hippie. If women want to volunteer to serve, I can live with that. But not a draft.

    The ERA will also empower Congress to interfere in any area touching gender. Whatever limited government we have today would be virtually gone. Cannot support that.

    I appreciate your candor on the “universal background checks” issue and I have to disagree. If we have “universal background checks” that will regulate all private sales or transfers of firearms. I suspect the numbers polled for UBC are based on the false assumption that some firearm transactions involving licensed dealers are not subject to a background check. I think the issue involving gun regulations in light of mass shootings is effectiveness: Must be a tight fit between the regulation and the harm to be prevented. This is based on the constitutional provision that says the right to bear arms “…shall not be infringed.” My understanding is that most mass shootings are not prevented by UBC or other similar “gun control” proposals. Now, there could be something to a red flag law if it is focused on the person not the guns and has some protections such as law enforcement initiates the legal action.

    Stan Scott has some libertarian tendencies and is willing to listen. Now I do agree that neither Dominion (nor any other regulated utility) nor its executives should donate to state campaigns. I lean against a law prohibiting it but rather a voluntary decision by say the HOD GOP Caucus not to accept Dominion money. The main reason is that the General Assembly selects the judges of the State Corporation Commission.

    I am glad there is a choice in the Fourth. I would love to cover a speech by Stan when he discusses the indigent defense issue. Let me know…



  1. […] is Stan Scott, noted progressive and Democrat candidate for the 4th District state senate seat in 2019 (Scott did the district and […]

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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