Virginia’s House of Delegates approved the Equal Rights Amendment Wednesday, with supporters hailing the vote as the final step for ratification and critics pointing out the opportunity to enact it ended 38 years ago.
The Democratic-led chamber voted 59-41 to approve the amendment, also known as ERA. The problem for supporters is that Congress gave the states until 1982 to reach the 38-state threshold needed for ratification.
Undeterred, activists plan to push Congress to change the deadline so the votes in Virginia and a few others states that took place well after the deadline can count towards ratification.
Independent Women’s Forum Senior Political Analyst Inez Stepman says it’s not that simple. She says Congress set the window for ratification as part of the amendment itself, which was approved by a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate. She argues a two-thirds majority would also be needed to change the deadline.
Listen to the full podcast as Stepman explains the political and legal wrangling to come on this issue. She also explains why she believes the amendment is wholly unnecessary.
Finally, Stepman explains how the ERA could actually erode equality for women and girls.