May 28, 2023
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The ERA passed in 1972, but not enough states ratified it by the 7-year deadline set by Congress

By Elizabeth Elkind | Fox News

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is teeing up a vote this week on a resolution aimed at adding the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution, more than a century after it was first introduced in Congress.

“In this ominous hour of American history, the Equal Rights Amendment has never been as necessary and urgent as it is today,” Schumer said in a press release on Monday evening. “Recent events like the Supreme Court’s horrible Dobbs decision, uncertainty with critical care drugs like Mifepristone, and a slew of proposed state actions have women in this country facing an uncertain future.”

A new amendment to the Constitution must first be passed by both houses of Congress and then ratified by at least 38 states. The ERA passed the House and Senate in 1972, in a push led by feminist icons like lawyer Gloria Steinem, but lawmakers tacked on a provision that said it must meet the 38-state threshold within seven years. The ERA was only ratified by 35 states by that time.

Marchers hold signs that say, “ERA USA” and “We Are not Asking for Permission, We Want Equality Now” during the Womans March in the borough of Manhattan in New York on Jan. 18, 2020, (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

Now, Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Ben Cardin, D-Md., are working on a bipartisan resolution that would remove what Schumer’s press release called the “arbitrary deadline” for ratification in the original bill that passed decades ago.

“We are here to stand united, and inch by inch restore, fight for, and expand women’s rights so that the women of today and the generations of tomorrow will not know a future with less access than their mothers had,” Schumer said. “The ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment would finally provide a constitutional remedy against sex discrimination – pushing our country one step closer to finally achieving equal justice under the law. It has been exactly 100 years since the first ERA was proposed in Congress. American women cannot afford to wait 100 more.”

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