January 13, 2020 Download Report – By The Heritage Foundation
SUMMARYStates can continue to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that Congress proposed in 1972 only if it is still pending before the states. If it is not, however, the 1972 ERA cannot be ratified because it no longer exists. Advocates claiming that the 1972 ERA can still be ratified today make several errors, such as failing to distinguish between types of constitutional amendments and misunderstanding congressional authority over the constitutional amendment process. Nonetheless, when the 1972 ERA’s deadline passed without ratification by three-fourths of the states, the proposed amendment expired and is no longer pending. The 1972 ERA, therefore, can no longer be ratified—because it no longer exists.
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Thomas Jipping Deputy Director, Center for Legal and Judicial StudiesThomas is the Deputy Director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and a Senior Legal Fellow.