Press Release

December 13, 2023
Cardin, Pressley Recognize the 100-Year Fight to Ensure Women’s Equal Rights in the Constitution

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.-7), Co-Chair of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Caucus, today recognize 100 years since the Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced in the United States House of Representative to become the 28th Amendment in the United States Constitution. Despite the required three-fourths state majority having already ratified the ERA in their Constitution, an arbitrary deadline has prevented the Amendment from being recognized nationally. To commemorate recent legislative victories, the two lawmakers, who have championed the effort in their respective chambers, released the following statement:

“The ERA would create a new tool to advance equality in the fields of employment and pay, pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment and violence, reproductive autonomy, and protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. Right now, the only right explicitly guaranteed regardless of sex in the U.S. Constitution is the 19th Amendment right to vote,” said Cardin and Pressley.

“On April 26, 2023, a bipartisan majority of the United States Senate voted to affirm the validity of the ERA as a part of our Constitution for the first time in our nation’s history. Though Senate Republicans deployed the legislative filibuster to obstruct equality, a bipartisan majority of the United States Senate is now on record as recognizing the validity of the ERA as the 28th Amendment,” continued the lawmakers.

Bipartisan majorities in the United States House of Representatives passed very similar legislation to S.J. Res. 4 on March 17, 2021, by a vote of 222-204, and on February 13, 2020, by a vote of 232-183. This Congress, efforts are underway to support a discharge petition to bring the legislation introduced in the current session, H.J. Res. 25, to the floor for a third time, with 201 signatures confirmed. We are also pleased to cosponsor new legislative vehicles introduced this Congress to advance the ERA, including the ERA Now resolution (S.J. Res. 39 and H.J. Res. 82). Members of the House of Representatives have been deliberate in their strategy to advance this legislation. Further, Congresswomen Pressley and Cori Bush (D-Mo.-1) co-founded first-ever the Congressional Caucus for the Equal Rights Amendment, which became the fifth largest caucus within the first year of its conception,” the lawmakers added.

While we have never been closer to enshrining equality into our Constitution, the fight is not over. We call on our colleagues in Congress and the broader public to join our effort to ensure that the ERA is finally certified and published in the United States Constitution.”