Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Friday, February 14, 2020

House Votes to Remove Deadline, Reviving Equal Rights Amendment

The House of Representatives took one giant step Thursday by voting to remove the 1982 ratification deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment.  

For a summary of the issues regarding the ratification deadline, see The Arguments as to Why the ERA Can Still be Ratified Now After the Deadline

House Votes to Push Deadline on Equal Rights Amendment

The U.S. House has voted to remove the deadline on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment in an attempt to revive the amendment.The 232-183 vote fell largely along party lines with five Republicans supporting the measure and zero Democrats opposing it.

 

Changing the deadline is a key part of one route that some ERA proponents believe would lead to the amendment becoming a part of the Constitution, but the path forward is uncertain.

 

The proposed amendment says simply, "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex," and it has had a renaissance in recent years, with three states ratifying it since 2017.

 

However, the bill may well be stymied after this vote.

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said earlier this month that he's "personally not a supporter" of the amendment, and the Trump administration's Office of Legal Counsel has said that it considers the ERA "expired."

US House Removes ERA Deadline, One Obstacle to Enactment

The 232-to-183 vote, on a resolution introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), pushes the issue to the Senate, where Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have introduced a similar measure.

 

During debate on the House floor, Republicans leaned on antiabortion and constitutional arguments to oppose the ERA, arguing that enshrining protections for women in the Constitution would mean abortion could not be restricted. Democrats focused on the legality of deadlines and the importance of equal rights.

 
“This has nothing to do with the abortion issue. That is an excuse, not a reason,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), arguing that women are still paid less than men for similar work, and often are shorted on pensions and maternity leaves.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/gender_law/2020/02/house-votes-to-remove-deadline-reviving-equal-rights-amendment.html

Constitutional, Gender, Legislation | Permalink

Comments

Post a comment