WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) released the following joint statement in response to the recent opinion by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) on the ongoing efforts in Congress and the states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Senators Cardin and Murkowski are the lead sponsors of S.J.Res 6, which would remove the deadline for ratification of the ERA.
“We disagree with the Justice Department’s opinion that states can no longer ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Congress certainly has the authority under Article V of the Constitution to set and change deadlines for the ratification of constitutional amendments, and has done so on numerous occasions. There is no reason to put a time limit on achieving equality under the law. We will continue to pursue our legislative efforts in the House and Senate to remove any legal ambiguities regarding the ERA ratification deadline. We encourage the states to complete the ratification process and make ERA part of the Constitution. As we near the centennial anniversary of adding women’s suffrage to the U.S. Constitution, let us finally prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in the U.S.”