By Roxy Szal and Carrie N. Baker
On Tuesday, Feb. 28, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)—the first Senate committee hearing on the ERA since 1984. At the hearing, constitutional law scholars, ERA advocates and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle made the case for enshrining equality in the U.S. Constitution, and what Congress can do to make ERA ratification a reality.
The hearing focused on a joint resolution filed last month by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) in the House and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) in the Senate, which would remove the arbitrary timeline for ratification and recognize the ERA as part of the Constitution. (The House of Representatives has twice passed a similar resolution lifting the timeline—in February 2020 and March 2021.)
The proposed amendment reads: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
“Quite frankly, most Americans think this is already in our Constitution, but Congress needs to complete the job,” said Sen. Cardin in his opening remarks. “The ERA is all about equality—the most fundamental of American values.”
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