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Maloney Votes to Advance the Equal Rights Amendment

Mar 17, 2021
Press Release

Maloney Votes to Advance the Equal Rights Amendment

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) voted for a bipartisan resolution to advance the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) by removing the arbitrary time limit for ratification, taking a critical step towards ensuring that the ERA becomes the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Anything less than equal protection under the law for women has been, and always will be, unacceptable,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “The Equal Rights Amendment was first drafted nearly 100 years ago. Today, women continue to face inequality and discrimination from sexual harassment to the wage gap. I’m proud to vote to pass this resolution, so we can move this amendment and our county forward.”

The Equal Rights Amendment states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”

The ERA was first proposed in 1923, three years after women gained the right to vote. In 1972 when the ERA first passed, Congress placed a seven-year time limit on the ratification process. This deadline was later extended to 1982. By 1982, only 35 states had passed the amendment — three states short of the 38 state majority required by the Constitution. The measure ultimately failed because of a handful of hold-out states. However, in January 2020, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the ERA. If passed by the Senate, this joint resolution would strike the 1982 deadline, allowing the final three states to count towards the 38 needed for ratification of the constitutional amendment.

If adopted, the ERA would create additional avenues of legal recourse for people who face discrimination on the basis of sex, and ensure that the Supreme Court applies the same standard of review for sex discrimination cases as it applies to cases of discrimination based on race and national origin. Women will have stronger legal protections against sexual assault, domestic violence, pay discrimination, and more.

The amendment is widely popular: ninety-four percent of the American people, across parties, support the ERA. In February 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass this resolution 232-to-183.