Will the ERA legislation pass a Republican Donald Trump US Senate?
House action on Thursday inched the U.S. closer to enshrining gender equality in the Constitution — but a daunting maze of legislative and legal obstacles still stands in the way.
Lawmakers voted 232-183 to pass legislation that would repeal the 1982 deadline for states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. In a mostly party-line vote, only five Republicans — Utah’s John Curtis, Illinois’ Rodney Davis, Pennsylvania’s Brian Fitzpatrick, New York’s Tom Reed and New Jersey’s Jeff Van Drew — joined with 227 Democrats in favor of the bill. No Democrats opposed it.
The comparative dearth of GOP support is a hit to advocates, who had sought a wave of bipartisanship to improve H.J. Res. 79 (116)’s chances in the Mitch McConnell-controlled Senate, co-sponsor Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said.
“I believe in one step at a time,” Maloney, who has long championed the ERA in Congress, told POLITICO Wednesday. “The first step is to see how the vote goes, and if we get a strong Republican vote, the degree of probability of it passing in the Senate increases dramatically.”
The ERA resurfaced last month when Virginia voted to ratify it, pushing the amendment past the required 38-state threshold. But aside from the unlikelihood that the House bill will clear the Senate, the bid to revive the ERA has already drawn court challenges from those who believe Virginia’s vote came nearly four decades too late. Another potential legal difficulty is that five states that have rescinded their ratifications — though historically, such reversals have not been recognized by the courts.
First proposed in the 1920s, the ERA was adopted by Congress in the 1970s, but failed to win ratification from two-thirds of the states before a June 1982 deadline set by Congress. For most of its nearly 100-year-history, the ERA enjoyed bipartisan support, including from Presidents Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower. But opposition from social conservatives in the 1970s prompted Republicans to drop it from their party platform in 1980, and to persuade the last few states needed to ratify not to do so….