Equal Rights Amendment

Section 1: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Section 2: The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3: This Amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

On the afternoon of January 15, 2020, the Virginia House of delegates voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and make Virginia the 38th and final state needed to enshrine the ERA in the U.S. Constitution.

“Today is a major victory for women and girls throughout the country,” declared Delegate Hala Ayala (D), who cosponsored the ERA ratification bill along with the chief sponsor Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D), both women of color elected for the first time in 2017.

Virginia delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy on House floor for ratification vote on ERA.

A year and a half earlier, in 2018, the Illinois state legislature became the 37th state to ratify the ERA. Illinois followed the state of Nevada that in 2017, after ERA supporters won Democratic majorities in both houses of the state legislature in the 2016 election, became the 36th state to ratify.

Current Status

Immediately after the Virginia ratification, the U.S. House of Representatives, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, voted on February 13, 2020 to remove the timeline from the preamble of the ERA.  A similar resolution is pending in the U.S. Senate and has 49 co-sponsors.  

We must demand a vote in the U.S. Senate to remove the ERA time limit.  

Attorneys General from Virginia, Illinois, and Nevada entered federal district court in Washington DC to demand that the National Archivist certify that the Equal Rights Amendment has been ratified by the required 38 states.  The National Archivist has moved to dismiss the federal case under direction of the Trump Administration Department of Justice. The VA, NV, and IL state attorneys general argue that the President has no authority in the amending process of the US constitution that requires a two-thirds vote of Congress and ratification by three-fourths of the states.  There was no department of justice recognized in the constitution. The president and the governors were given no authority in the amending process, and the states had never voted on the timeline.  

Meanwhile, ERA activists continue to work in several un-ratified states including Arizona, North Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana to ratify the federal ERA and to move forward state ERAs.

Take Action

A seven-year timeline for the ratification process was imposed on the ERA by Congress. This timeline, which is in the preamble of the Congressional resolution, was not in the ERA itself, and was not voted on by the states, is now what is holding up final ratification of the ERA.

Email your Senators demanding them to vote to remove the arbitrary timeline placed in the preamble to the ERA, to once and for all enshrine equality in the United States Constitution.

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