Thursday, May 2, 2019
A House Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday held the first congressional hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in 36 years as supporters push for ratification.
ERA advocates want a time requirement to be stripped from the amendment’s language. Congress passed the ERA in 1972, but it failed to earn the backing of enough state legislatures to be ratified by a 1982 deadline.
The majority of those testifying Tuesday before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties argued the deadline was arbitrary and should be removed.
The panel heard testimony from a pair of female Democratic lawmakers backing legislation that would add language to the Constitution stating everyone is equal under the law.
Other witnesses included actress and advocate Patricia Arquette, as well as legal experts and a state senator involved in getting the ERA ratified in Nevada.
Both Nevada and Illinois have ratified the amendment in recent years. Ratification failed by one vote in Virginia earlier this year.***
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) also introduced a measure for a new ERA, but she and Speier have said it's a “fall back” in the case Speier’s measure falls short.
Video, ERA Hearing on CSPAN
When women’s rights activists gathered in Washington on Tuesday for the first congressional hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in 36 years, they seemed to encounter many of the same decades-old strategies that have been used to derail it. Chief among them was the idea that the proposed constitutional amendment, which would enshrine equal protections for women in law, would trigger an unfettered expansion of abortion rights on the state and federal level—an argument some ERA supporters say is intended to sow division.