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States renew push for ERA

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 1/31/20, 11:37 am

Three Democratic state attorneys general are trying to resurrect the effort to enshrine feminism in the U.S. Constitution. Four decades after the Equal Rights Amendment became a flashpoint in the women’s liberation movement, Illinois, Nevada, and Virginia sued on Thursday to try to force the U.S. government to adopt it. The Virginia General Assembly voted in favor of the measure Monday, bringing the number of states to ratify the constitutional amendment to the required 38. The amendment states in part, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

Will the United States adopt the amendment? The ERA remains in legal limbo. After Virginia’s vote, the National Archives and Records Administration said its head, David Ferriero, would “take no action to certify the adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment.” A Congress-enacted ratification deadline passed decades ago, and several states have tried to rescind their approval. It’s unclear whether either obstacle is legally binding.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read the obituary of conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who campaigned against the ERA in the 1970s.


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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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