WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) announced Friday the addition of 16 cosponsors for the bipartisan resolution to remove the deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment (S. Res. 6). Thirty-seven states, of the 38 needed, have already ratified the amendment, which was first proposed in 1972. Earlier this month, the House Judiciary Committee marked up and reported favorably companion legislation, H.J. Res. 79. The full House could consider the resolution as early as December.
“There should never be a deadline on equality. This bipartisan legislation should resolve any ambiguity about states’ ability to ratify the ERA,” said Senator Cardin. “I thank my colleagues for joining this final push toward ratification and look forward to having more senators join this bipartisan effort soon.”
The following senators join Senators Cardin, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) as cosponsors of S. Res. 6:
Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.)
Senator Tim Kaine (Both D-Va.)
Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.)
Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)
Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
Article V of the Constitution contains no time limits for ratification of amendments, and the states finally ratified the Twenty-Seventh Amendment in 1992 regarding Congressional pay raises more than 200 years after Congress proposed it in 1789 as part of the original Bill of Rights. The ERA time limit was contained in a joint resolution – not the actual text of the amendment – and Congress has already once voted to extend the ERA ratification deadline.
Illinois was the last state to ratify the ERA in May 2018. Nevada ratified the ERA in March 2017. Only one more state is needed among: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, or Virginia. Virginia’s legislature is expected to take up the measure in January 2020.