Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Judiciary Committee successfully marked-up Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s (D-CA) H.J.Res.79 to facilitate ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Rep. Speier is the House sponsor of the joint resolution to remove the deadline to ratify the ERA, paving the way forward for passage of this historic amendment. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have introduced a companion joint resolution in the U.S. Senate that also removes the deadline to ratify the ERA.
“The House Judiciary Committee’s historic markup of my resolution to facilitate the ratification of the ERA is a win for the women and men who have fought generations for true equality and justice for all Americans,” said Rep. Jackie Speier, Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus. “A vote for the ERA is a vote for equality. Last week’s state legislature elections in Virginia firmly place the state in the position to become the final needed to ratify the ERA, providing driving momentum for passage of this crucial amendment to make women equal to men in our Constitution and under the law. I stand with and applaud my colleagues in the House and Senate, advocates, and activists who have been working their entire lives for this day and this just cause. We won’t rest until the ERA becomes reality. Women are not second class citizens. It’s time to say that in the Constitution.”
When Congress passed the ERA in 1972, it attached an arbitrary 7-year ratification deadline to the preamble which was later extended three more years. By 1982, 35 states out of the required 38 states voted to ratify the amendment. In the past two years, grassroots campaigns have successfully secured ratification votes in Nevada and Illinois. Notwithstanding the expired deadline, we are just one state away from the final goal of 38 states. So far, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia have not ratified the ERA.
A copy of Rep. Speier’s joint resolution can be found here.