Press Release

March 22, 2017
Cardin Lauds Nevada Vote to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment; Cardin ERA Measure Would Mean Just Two More States Needed to Guarantee Women Equality in Our Constitution
Congress should give the states another chance to ratify the ERA and correct this historical injustice.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) praised legislators in Nevada for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) 45 years to the day after Congress passed the ERA. 

“Nevada has moved us closer to ensuring that the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees full and equal protection for women. Congress must act now to remove the unnecessary deadline for the ERA, opening the door for just two more states to carry us through to full ratification.

“Most Americans are shocked to find out that the U.S. Constitution still lacks a provision ensuring gender equality. It’s long past time for us to recognize the equality of women in the foundational document of our laws.”

Senator Cardin is the lead sponsor of S.J. Res. 5, which would immediately revive the consideration of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Senator Cardin’s ERA resolution has the active support of the ERA Coalition, an umbrella organization comprised of dozens of civil and human rights organizations.

When Congress proposed the ERA in 1972, it provided that the measure had to be ratified by three-fourths of the states (38) within seven years. This deadline was later extended to 10 years by a joint resolution enacted by Congress, but ultimately only 35 out of 38 States had ratified the ERA when the deadline expired in 1982. To put that in context, in 1992, the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits immediate Congressional pay raises, was ratified after 203 years.

The Equal Rights Amendment is slightly longer than two tweets but would finally give women full and equal protection under the Constitution. It reads as follows:

Section 1.  Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2.  The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3.  This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

“Article V of the Constitution contains no time limits for ratification of amendments, and the ERA time limit was contained in a joint resolution, not the actual text of the amendment. The Senate could pass my legislation removing the 10-year deadline right now,” added Senator Cardin