Proposed Equal Rights Amendment: Contemporary Ratification Issues [Updated December 23, 2019]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Summary: "The proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (ERA) declares that 'equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex….' The ERA was approved by Congress for ratification by the states in 1972; the amendment included a customary, but not constitutionally mandated, seven-year deadline for ratification. Between 1972 and 1977, 35 state legislatures, of the 38 required by the Constitution, voted to ratify the ERA. Despite a congressional extension of the deadline from 1979 to 1982, no additional states approved the amendment during the extended period, at which time the amendment was widely considered to have expired. After 23 years in which no additional state voted to ratify the ERA, the situation changed when Nevada and Illinois approved the amendment, in March 2017 and May 2018, respectively. In addition, a change in party control of the Virginia legislature in the 2019 elections raised hopes among ERA supporters that this state might also vote to ratify, which would bring the number of approvals to 38, the requirement set by Article V for validation of a proposed amendment as part of the Constitution. In the context of these developments, ERA proponents have renewed efforts to restart the ratification process. These actions center on the assertion that because the amendment did not include a ratification deadline 'within the amendment text', it remains potentially viable and eligible for ratification indefinitely."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42979
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
Help with citations