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senate Bill S. Joint Res. 5

Does Congress Need to Get Rid of the Deadline for Ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment?

Argument in favor

It makes no sense for the ratification process to start fresh after 35 states have already expressed their approval for the Equal Rights Amendment — especially when Congress had already extended the deadline!

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09/30/2017
Why is this even still an issue? Why aren’t we equal ALREADY?? This is ridiculous. One step forward, two steps back. 😡
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Ly's Opinion
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09/30/2017
Do whatever needs to be done to pass equal rights for all women.
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Kodiwodi's Opinion
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09/30/2017
Yes the artificial limit should be removed. But what really needs to be removed is those with an objection to its ratification.
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Argument opposed

There may not be a constitutional requirement to place a time limit on the ratification process, but when Congress self-imposes one they need to stick to it. Besides, the ERA had support before and can regain it once the process restarts.

NoHedges's Opinion
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09/30/2017
I do not want the Constitution opened up for any changes including ratification during this administration. The risk of contamination is too great❗️Thank you for your support, please consider following me on Countable.
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Amalthea's Opinion
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09/30/2017
I see this as a technique designed to allow sitting Congress people to dodge doing anything indefinitely and against the will of the people. It takes the pressure off of them to do it any time soon. I believe in their need to pass it. And I believe, come elections people need to be able to see that their senator failed them on this front rather than allowing them to invisibly delay until it's someone else's problem. I do not support cowardice and delays on this important issue. That being said, the issuing of the limit in the first place was stupid, and Congress should not make States re ratify the amendment because they are cowards.
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tituswife's Opinion
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09/30/2017
We don't need an amendment, when rights are guaranteed under Federal law already. To reopen this is a waste of resources. Abide by the law already enscribed by Congress, and end the process.
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joint resolution Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 17th, 2017

What is Senate Bill S. Joint Res. 5?

This resolution would eliminate the deadline for states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) — which is a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal rights for all regardless of their sex. It essentially holds that time limits on ratifying constitutional amendments are unnecessary and unconstitutional, so the ratification process that ran from 1972 to 1982 is still valid.

The ERA was passed by Congress in 1972 and provided states a seven-year time limit to ratify the amendment, which was then extended to 1982 after six years had elapsed. Once the 1982 deadline arrived, the ERA had been ratified by 35 states — three short of the requirement. Following its failure to achieve ratification before the 1982 deadline, the ERA was reintroduced in Congress by those who believed the ratification process would have to begin anew.

However, there are some — including the sponsor of this legislation — who believe that to be unnecessary. Time limits on constitutional amendments hadn’t been utilized prior to the 18th Amendment, so ratification time limits are a self-imposed constraint rather than a constitutional requirement. Case in point, the 27th Amendment wasn’t ratified until nearly 203 years after Congress passed it and it sent it to the states!

Impact

Women and men who face discrimination on the basis of sex, lawmakers and citizens who would otherwise have to begin the ERA ratification process anew, state legislatures, and Congress.

Cost of Senate Bill S. Joint Res. 5

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced this resolution to allow the ratification process of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to resume:

"I think many Americans would be shocked to find out that the U.S. Constitution still lacks a provision ensuring gender equality. Think about that: in 2017, women lack the same constitutional protections as men. This is clearly wrong and needs permanent correction. America was built on the promise of equal rights. Our history is defined by groups struggling to achieve full equality under the law.  It’s long past time for us to recognize the equality of women in our fundamental governing documents."

This legislation has the support of 33 cosponsors in the Senate, all of whom caucus as Democrats.

Of Note: After their initial ratification of the ERA, five states have rescinded that ratification which would have dropped the tally to 30 of the needed 38 — although it is unclear that such a rescission would be considered constitutionally valid.

The Equal Rights Amendment itself is straightforward enough, and contains three provisions:

  • Equality of rights under the shall not be abridged or denied by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

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

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

 

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user David)

Official Title

A joint resolution removing the deadline for the ratification of the equal rights amendment.

    Why is this even still an issue? Why aren’t we equal ALREADY?? This is ridiculous. One step forward, two steps back. 😡
    Like (80)
    Follow
    Share
    I do not want the Constitution opened up for any changes including ratification during this administration. The risk of contamination is too great❗️Thank you for your support, please consider following me on Countable.
    Like (66)
    Follow
    Share
    Do whatever needs to be done to pass equal rights for all women.
    Like (63)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes the artificial limit should be removed. But what really needs to be removed is those with an objection to its ratification.
    Like (49)
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    Share
    The ERA is fundamental to an equitable society. We need to keep at it til it gets done.
    Like (38)
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    Although it is taking far too long to achieve gender (and racial) equality in this country, putting a time limit on seems particularly detrimental for an amendment that, for some unknown to me reason, has already taken way too long to be ratified.
    Like (30)
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    The constitution does not set a time limit, so there shouldn’t be an artificial limit placed by congress. This bill is an excellent reminder that we still haven’t ratified the ERA and brought our country out of the dark ages. The 2016 election was a global demonstration showing that misogyny still thrives in America. To Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia, I say, shame on you. Women are not second class citizens despite your refusal to acknowledge our worth.
    Like (27)
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    Putting a deadline on anybody’s equal rights is wrong. Women have been waiting nearly 50 years!!!
    Like (22)
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    Unfortunately this amendment is still needed and must be ratified by ALL the states. We need to put pressure on the states that still have not ratified it. Would be good to know which are still in play.
    Like (20)
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    From being steered away from science (told I would only get married and have babies) in high school, to doing the RN work of my male colleague who sat around reading the paper, got the information about the patients from my assessments and work to report to the MD as if it were his work and assessments and seeing him be promoted before me, to being denied credit on the basis of gender, to having precisely my comment mirrored by a male and praised after being told I didn’t quite get it by my grad school professors—yes—a resounding yes! Every woman in politics from Hillary to “... and still she persisted...” knows that like racism, sexism is woven into the fabric of our society to the benefit of only a privileged few. The Federalists appointed as judges by our authoritarian possibly Russian appointed ‘president’ want a 1700s world ruled by “white” men with all the power to control and punish the rest of us. As we decrease sexism, they want to raise the bar again. Want to bet if Republicans want Federalist rules if they don’t increase their wealth and power? I want a world for us all that is fair and just.
    Like (18)
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    No limit to equal rights for ALL
    Like (15)
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    It’s way past time Women’s rights were officially considered equal. The current assault on women by republican congressmen whether state or federal is inexcusable. You are our fathers brothers husbands uncles friends and neighbors. RESPECT US and WOMEN, RESPECT YOURSELVES. Parents, raise decent respectful boys to men, not foul mouthed bullies and control freaks.
    Like (13)
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    I see this as a technique designed to allow sitting Congress people to dodge doing anything indefinitely and against the will of the people. It takes the pressure off of them to do it any time soon. I believe in their need to pass it. And I believe, come elections people need to be able to see that their senator failed them on this front rather than allowing them to invisibly delay until it's someone else's problem. I do not support cowardice and delays on this important issue. That being said, the issuing of the limit in the first place was stupid, and Congress should not make States re ratify the amendment because they are cowards.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    We don't need an amendment, when rights are guaranteed under Federal law already. To reopen this is a waste of resources. Abide by the law already enscribed by Congress, and end the process.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    Setting limits to ratification of ANY amendment is unnecessary, states are all entities that have the same problems as the federal government. If it's federal law, the states should abide by the law even; unless they chose to create their own law. Then that would be handled by the courts. THIS IS EXACTLY WHY THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM SHOULD NOT BE PARCELED OUT TO THE STATES.
    Like (11)
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    For once could you honor the deadline.
    Like (8)
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    Even better if they just ratify it - maybe amend it to include women, people of all races, genders, and sexual orientation
    Like (7)
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    Better yet, how about passing the equal rights amendment? By next June, even Saudi Arabia will start to pass the US in this area. Of course, this toxic administration will do nothing to help ratify such a radical amendment. After all, women are play things to this clown.
    Like (7)
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    Let the ratification process continue without constriction — it would seem that the artificial deadline may very well have been put in place with the hopes of nullifying the amendment. At some point soon enough, the majority of Americans will recognize its very basic worth; it may be finally passed after a majority already consider it a way of life and a social norm, though I do feel it would still be a benefit for the amendment to have legal teeth. It took Mississippi until 2013 to ratify the 13th amendment abolishing slavery (no lie!), but they were given the time to do so.
    Like (7)
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    Can't believe this is still floating around. Our country has still not yet found the 21st century.
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