"Illinois' recent ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution has revived questions about the potential for the amendment to be adopted. First presented to the states in 1972, the ERA provides that '[e]quality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.' 37 states have now ratified the ERA, and some supporters of the amendment maintain that ratification by just one additional state could result in its adoption. After ratification by one more state, the ERA will have been ratified by three-fourths of the states, as required by Article V of the Constitution. Whether the ERA can be so adopted, however, is not entirely certain. Questions concerning the expiration of Congress's original ratification deadline without approval by three-fourths of the states, and the rescission of ratifications by five states between 1973 and 1978, would likely have to be addressed before the ERA would be formally adopted."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10163