Although the Equal Rights Amendment has gained enough states to be ratified thanks to Virginia in 2020, the deadline for ratification expired in 1982, but that could change if a bill sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is passed by Congress.
First introduced in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment had been reintroduced in 1971 but failed to gain enough state support for ratification by 1982 after five states revoked their ratification before the deadline. It’s questionable if states can revoke ratification of an proposed amendment, but several states have since pushed the ERA over the goal line.
But because the ratification deadline has expired, Murkowski is joining Democrats in the Senate and House in support of extending the deadline again so that the ratification process would not have to start all over again. Only this time, the amendment would take effect just two years after ratification instead of the original seven.
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” the amendment says. “The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.”
In a statement, Murkowski expressed her support of the amendment and the legislation to revive it in partnership with Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.).
As we begin a new Congress, I can think of no better legislation to lead with than one that removes impediments to find ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment — an amendment that firmly embeds in law equality between men and women. We first moved the ERA through Congress back in 1972, but we stalled out on certification by the states until last year when Virginia ratified the ERA,” Murkowski wrote. “After years of work alongside Senator Cardin, I urge my colleagues to join us in ensuring equality for all.”
We first moved the ERA through Congress back in 1972, but we stalled out on certification by the states until last year when Virginia ratified the ERA. After years of work alongside Senator Cardin, I urge my colleagues to join us in ensuring equality for all. #ERANow
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) January 22, 2021
It’s an amendment that is long past due to be enshrined as part of the Constitution and would definitely have a better chance of getting through the Senate if Democrats simply kill the filibuster. Hopefully, Murkowski can rally some of her Republican colleagues to support the legislation and finally get this done.
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