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Bridget Johnson


May 9, 2013 - 3:29 pm

Two Republicans joined several Democrats today in introducing a joint resolution to remove the deadline for states’ ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Congress passed the ERA in 1972 with the provision that the measure had to be ratified by three-fourths of the states within seven years. It was later extended to 10 years, but only 35 states out of the 38 needed ratified the ERA.

Supporters say the 27th Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting immediate congressional pay raises was ratified after 203 years.

The resolution was introduced by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). Original co-sponsors are Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Mark Begich (D-Alaska).

Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.) is introducing a companion bill in the House.

“As America readies to celebrate Mothers’ Day, we should be working to ensure that all women realize the promise of equal protection under the law. We cannot allow an arbitrary deadline to stand in the way of equal rights for our mothers and daughters, wives and sisters, aunts and grandmothers,” said Cardin. “Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment would at last make equality for women explicitly clear in our Constitution. We’re only three states short of victory.”

Supporters today pointed to a statement by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as reason why the ERA needs to be in the Constitution. In 2011, Scalia gave an interview in which he stated that “certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (4)
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just call me stupid, but i didn't know this was still an issue. i don't think i'm alone.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sorry, but what part of "equal protection of the laws" is confusing?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Or, well, gosh, they could just try to get 3 more States to ratify it. Nah, that would be too hard. God, but these people are stupid. And lazy.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not a constitutional expert (like Obama) but given that the clock ran out long, long ago on the ratification process, wouldn't it have to start again from the beginning with ZERO and then acquire the full 38 states needed? Or does this proposal eliminate the time limit retroactively?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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