The Equal Rights Amendment Is Suddenly (Again) Within Reach. Does It Matter?
That depends on who you ask? Some say yes and some say no. Some say President Obama signed an equal pay bill so what more women want? Equality. That’s what they want.
The ERA is the second longest standing Amendment in US history. It was drawn up in 1921 and put upon the floor of Congress in 1923.
Only two other amendment has a longer life span. The 13th and 14th Amendment. The 13th Amendment is the longest. Some states didn’t ratify the 13th Amendment until as last 2013 and it introduced over 150 years ago. There were three states that rejected the 13th Amendment and did not ratify it until the 20th Century: Delaware (February 12, 1901); Kentucky (March 18, 1976); and Mississippi voted to ratify the 13th Amendment on March 16, 1995, but it was not officially ratified until February 7, 2013. Wow! That’s a long time.
I know you are perhaps asking how in the hell did the confederacy get a say in this amendment when they had seceded from the Union? President Johnson, Lincoln’s successor accepted them back into the union.
An amendment doesn’t necessarily died when it doesn’t receive enough votes to become a law. It can later be reintroduced. However, if it passed with enough votes (3/4 congressional votes) it becomes the law of the land rather certain individual states ratify it or not. The same will apply to the E.R.A. if it receive the one vote needed.
The Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress on March 22, 1972 and sent to the states for ratification. In order to be added to the Constitution, it needed approval by legislatures in three-fourths (38) of the 50 states. During the days of the 13th and 14th Amendment there were not needed as many votes because there were not 50 states.
By 1977, the legislatures of 35 states had approved the amendment. In 1978, Congress voted to extend the original March 1979 deadline to June 30, 1982. However, no additional states voted yes before that date, and the ERA fell three states short of ratification.
The 15 states that did not ratify the Equal Rights Amendment before the 1982 deadline were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia
This time it’s closer than before. The ERA is lacking one vote from becoming ratified, one state can make it a law. Which state will that be? Who knows. I pointed out the facts about the 13th Amendment to make a point of how long people can hold on to their opinions whether they be right or wrong.
So, in truth, this is the ERA’s third attempt at Ratification. Not second.