Senators Kirk, Cardin Introduce Resolution to Remove Deadline for State Ratification of Equal Rights Amendment

Amendment Would Fully Guarantee Women Equal Protections Under the Law; Expired in 1982 Without Full 38-State Ratification

WASHINGTON –-(ENEWSPF)–May 7, 2015.  U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today introduced S.J. Res 15, a bipartisan joint resolution to remove the deadline for the states’ ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Congress passed the ERA in 1972, and it was required that three-fourths of the states (38) states ratify the amendment within seven years. The deadline was later extending to 10 years, but only 35 of the 38 states had ratified by the revised 1982 deadline.

“With Mother’s Day around the corner, it should be a no-brainer for states to want to ratify this amendment which will finally guarantee women equal protections under the law,” Senator Kirk said. “There is no room for discrimination of any kind in our society and I urge my colleagues to support this effort in order to give our mothers, daughters and sisters full protection and guaranteed equality under our Constitution.” 

“As America prepares 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 the women of this country,” said Senator Cardin. “I’m proud to join with Senator Kirk in a bipartisan effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and, finally, make equality for women explicitly clear in our Constitution.”

Originally drafted by Alice Paul in 1923, the ERA was introduced in 1972 and stated that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.” In removing the Congressionally-imposed deadline that expired over 30 years ago, and allowing the amendment to be voted on a ratified, Congress has another opportunity to guarantee women equality under the law. 

Article V of the Constitution contains no time limits for ratification of constitutional amendments, and the ERA time limit was contained in a joint resolution, not the actual text of the amendment. In 1992, the 27th Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting immediate Congressional pay raises was ratified after 203 years.