House Judiciary Committee votes to eliminate ERA time limit

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Photo Credit: W. Scott McGill

The House Judiciary Committee has approved a resolution that would eliminate the time limit for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

After last week’s statewide elections in Virginia, state legislators have pledged to bring the ERA to the Virginia Assembly for passage in early 2020, making it the 38th and final state necessary for ratification.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the resolution for markup today at a hearing on Capitol Hill. The bill would remove the time limit for ratification. The resolution was originally introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) in January and has gained momentum in the days since a pro-ERA majority was elected in Virginia.

“With the Virginia state legislature poised to ratify the ERA in early 2020, the U.S. House is moving to register its support. The ERA has overwhelming support in public opinion polls today. Finally the ERA is in the homestretch and political leaders are rushing to support it not only in Washington, but nationwide,” said Ellie Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority

The ERA was written by women’s suffragist Alice Paul in 1923. After the House passed the ERA in 1971 and the Senate followed suit in 1972 it was sent to the states for ratification.

“This is long overdue,” said Smeal. “The need for equal protection under the Constitution is still as urgent as ever today as it was when the ERA first went to the states for ratification in 1972. We have never stopped working to get three-fourths of the states to ratify and that day is swiftly approaching.”

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