Good Law | Bad Law #100 - The ERA: dead or alive and well? w/ Roberta “Bobbie” Francis & Lucy Beard

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Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast series Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Lucy Beard, Executive Director of the Alice Paul Institute, and Roberta “Bobby” Francis, founding Chair of the ERA Taskforce of the National Council of Women’s Organizations and the current ERA Education Consultant for the Alice Paul Institute, to discuss the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA.)


Celebrating our 100th episode today, Aaron, Lucy and Bobby sit down to discuss the Equal Rights Amendment, today’s political climate, and the idea of equal protection for everyone under the law. Is the ERA more relevant than ever? And more so, is it finally close to being ratified? Lucy, Bobby, and Aaron attempt to answer these questions as Lucy and Bobby explain what the ERA actually is, the history of the proposed amendment, and the opposition it has faced throughout the past decades. Today’s conversation centers around why and how the ERA is not yet part of our country’s constitution and takes a fascinating look at the possible roots to ratification.


Throughout the episode, Lucy explains Alice Paul’s history and devotion to the gender equality movement, specifically her passion for the ERA, as well as her own dedication to the cause. Spearheaded by a group of ERA activists in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the Alice Paul Institute is an organization created to remember Alice Paul and her life’s work but also to emphasize the importance of women’s history through preserving the physical spaces in which this history was made. Lucy explains that Alice’s childhood home became the site of the institute and is now on the historical registry. Working with the institute for 25 years, Lucy says that it is a place to keep Alice’s work going.


Bobby has also been involved with gender equality for decades. She is the founding chair of the ERA taskforce of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, an American non-profit that is composed of more than 100 women’s organizations and now works closely with the Lucy and the Alice Paul Institute as their ERA Education Consultant. Bobby expresses the importance of education and awareness, especially in today’s politically dynamic world, and shares her own views on the future of the ERA.


To learn more about the Alice Paul Institute, visit their website. Throughout their website is a wealth of information on the ERA and the specifics of how to get involved, including PR materials and educational toolkits:


Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Lucy Beard, Roberta “Bobby” Francis