As hopes grow that Virginia will ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) is among 16 new co-sponsors of a Senate resolution that would remove the deadline for ratification.
The 13 states that haven’t ratified the ERA are: Arizona, Utah, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Virginia.
A congressional deadline was imposed when Congress passed the ERA. Lawmakers initially set a March 1979 ratification deadline for states, which was later extended to June 1982. But the amendment still hadn’t gotten the backing of 38 states when that deadline expired.
Earlier this month, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee marked up and reported favorably companion legislation, H.J. Res. 79. The full U.S. House could consider the resolution as early as December.
“There should never be a deadline on equality. This bipartisan legislation should resolve any ambiguity about states’ ability to ratify the ERA,” said Cardin. “I thank my colleagues for joining this final push toward ratification and look forward to having more senators join this bipartisan effort soon.”