Legislation Would Add ERA to Constitution

Sponsors say all requirements have been met. 

Representatives Carolyn Maloney of New York and Jackie Speier of California introduced a resolution to recognize that the Equal Rights Amendment has met all legal requirements to be considered the 28th Constitutional Amendment. If the resolution passes in both congressional chambers, the ERA would be officially added, guaranteeing legal gender equality under the Constitution. 

A proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution after it is ratified by 38 states. On January 27, 2020, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the ERA. The amendment states that it shall go into effect exactly two years after ratification. 

In January 2020, the Justice Department issued a memo blocking the ERA from becoming law. It argued that the last states to ratify the ERA – Virginia, Nevada, and Illinois – could not actually do so because the 1982 deadline to ratify the ERA had expired. Therefore, the National Archives would be unable to certify the amendment. Last year, the House voted to eliminate the deadline. 

This week, the Department of Justice issued an opinion calling into question its 2020 memo but did not rescind it. However, it stated that ERA’s inclusion into the Constitution will not be determined by the Justice Department but “by the courts and Congress.” 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For both houses of Congress as they consider clearing the way for ERA to become the 28th Amendment.
  • For wisdom for members of Congress as they deliberate the next move on the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • For officials in the Justice Department as they assess their responsibilities.

Sources: Axios, The Hill


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