Janet Mary Riley: The Fight for Rights
The Civil Rights Movement
The Janet Mary Riley Papers contain pamphlets, brochures, and newspaper clippings related to the social justice and civil rights movements of her time. These ephemeral pieces of paper were deemed important enough to keep by Riley, and today provide researchers insight into the atmosphere of the time of what is sadly the continued struggle for civil rights in the United States.
“…The only dodge left to die-hard segregationists is, apparently, truly private schools which fulfill state standards for those who can afford them, and public schools for the poor or those who prefer them. This means that the cost-of-living for the growing family now often includes tuition. It will probably also mean a movement to obtain subsidies from the state for tuition for all children to attend private schools. Must we then start all over again?”
-- Janet Mary Riley, “Civil Rights,” Loyola Law Review vol. XVII
E.R.A and Janet Mary Riley
Janet Mary Riley was originally against the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.) out of a fear of “an extreme interpretation of E.R.A. to forbid any state of federal action recognizing sex differences.” As the amendment evolved and passed Congress in 1972, it became to Janet “the very symbol of equality of the sexes before the law” and she changed her mind in support of it.
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters. It has never been ratified by the states and is not part of the United States Constitution.