Thursday, May 16

Senate units vote on effort to revive Equal Rights Amendment

Senate Democrats introduced Monday that they’ll drive a vote this week on a measure that might try to revive the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by retroactively eradicating the ratification deadline.

Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer made the announcement in New York, saying the necessity for the ERA is extra urgent than ever, given the “ominous” path abortion rights have taken.

“The ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment would finally provide a constitutional remedy against sex discrimination – pushing our country one step closer to finally achieving equal justice under the law,” he mentioned.

The ERA cleared Congress in 1972 and was despatched to the states with a deadline of 1979 for acquiring ratification by the requisite three-fourths of states.

Just 35 of the wanted 38 had ratified the modification by 1979. Congress permitted a three-year extension of the deadline, however the 1982 deadline got here and went with no new ratifications.

In 2017, Nevada belatedly voted for approval, adopted by Illinois in 2018 and Virginia in 2020. ERA backers mentioned that was sufficient to place them over, however that argument has been rejected by federal courts who’ve dominated the deadline has handed.

Mr. Schumer and fellow ERA supporters on Capitol Hill argue they’ll retroactively erase the deadline, which might make the ERA the twenty eighth Amendment.

That’s unlikely.

Even if the decision had been to clear a Senate filibuster this week, it’s uncertain it might see motion within the House, the place the GOP controls the ground schedule.

And if it had been to clear Congress, there are nonetheless a bunch of authorized questions concerning the principle behind erasing the deadline. Changing the deadline retroactively is iffy. Besides, a handful of states that ratified the ERA within the Nineteen Seventies have voted to revoke that ratification.

Neither of these points has ever been conclusively grappled with by the Supreme Court.

ERA backers had been pressuring Mr. Schumer for motion during the last two years, when Democrats held management of the House, too.

Indeed, laws to erase the ERA deadline cleared the Democrat-controlled House in 2021. But Mr. Schumer didn’t transfer the measure on the time.

The measure to be voted on this week is co-sponsored by Sen. Ben Cardin, Maryland Democrat, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican.

It has only one different Republican sponsor, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

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