ERA Now?

This is meaningless. The time set for ratification expired decades ago, as did the Congressional extensions.

What the feminazis don’t realize is that a genuine, fairly enforced Equal Rights Amendment would be a disaster for their cause, but some opinions are that they believe they’re expecting to get something like a court expanded Title IX.

Virginia has now become the 38th state to vote to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, which arguably crosses the ratification threshold set out in Article V of the U.S. Constitution for constitutional amendments. And so, Virginia has forced us to think seriously about the question of how the Constitution can be validly amended.

Back in June of 2018, as the National Organization for Women was gearing up a campaign to push the ratification of the ERA over the finish line, I argued that the effort was misguided and that the states should properly consider the proposed amendment dead and no longer available for potential ratification. Although the Virginia legislature apparently disagrees, I still think the ERA has not been properly ratified and should not be considered to be part of the Constitution.

There are a host of issues here. Some are purely procedural. The Office of Legal Counsel has recently issued an opinion concluding that the ERA is dead. The key issue for the OLC is whether Congress has the authority to set a time limit on the ratification of a constitutional amendment, which Congress purported to do in the case of the Equal Rights Amendment. When Congress voted to adopt the ERA in 1972 and send it to the states for potential ratification, it conditioned its approval on a seven-year ratification deadline (Congress subsequently voted to extend the deadline to the summer of 1982).

This is consistent with the relatively modern practice by which Congress has attempted to limit how long the ratification process can take. The text of the Constitution provides very little guidance about the ratification process and says nothing about whether or not Congress can set a deadline on the process. The OLC says that it can, and the national archivist, who is tasked with registering a successful ratification, has deferred to the OLC. For the moment, the executive branch of the federal government at least has concluded that the ERA has not yet been ratified and cannot be ratified in its current form. (Even if the OLC is right about the initial deadline, there is a further interesting question of whether Congress could now vote to further extend the deadline and retroactively validate the tardy ratification votes.)……..

If we think there is a serious need for the ERA and genuine support for it in the contemporary United States, then there is a ready solution—draft a new amendment, push it through Congress, and send it to the states. If we think that the ERA could not currently be adopted and ratified in a reasonable amount of time, then perhaps we should not be eager to say that the ERA is part of the Constitution because exactly three states legislatures have endorsed it since Jimmy Carter was in the White House.