50 years after the Equal Rights Amendment was first passed in Congress, a majority of likely voters want the provision aimed to guarantee equal rights for all genders into effect.
Recent polling from Data for Progress finds85 percent of likely voter support Congress passing the ERA in order to give it a second chance to be adopted as a Constitutional Amendment. Support for the amendment is bipartisan with 93 per cent of Democrats and 79 per cent of both independents as well as Republicans agreeing that it should pass.
Further, poll respondents indicated that they would support politicians who support ERA. Fifty-seven percent of likely voters said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported the ERA’s passage, including 75 percent of Democrats.
It is possible to pass the ERA again one of the pathwaysThere are steps lawmakers can take to officially adopt the ERA as an amendment in the Constitution. Two-thirds (or 38) of the 38 states must ratify an amendment to be adopted. This threshold was reached in 2020 when Virginia became the 38th state that ratified the amendment. But the Trump administration blocked the ERA’s adoption, This is how it should be saidThe seven-year deadline set in 1972 for states to ratify this measure had expired.
The ERA gained new relevance due to recent ratifications by Nevada, Virginia, and Illinois. However, polling data from Data for Progress found that voters know very little about the measure. Only 23 percent of likely voters said they’ve heard “a lot” about the issue, while 53 percent said they’ve only heard “a little” and 24 percent said they’ve heard nothing at all.
The proposal’s supporters argue that it is more crucial than ever. for the ConstitutionTo explicitly state that women, and other people from the gender spectrum, are equal to men. Advocates say that even though there have been landmark Supreme Court decisions that provide protection against sex discrimination in the past, the adoption of the amendment is particularly timely because of the Supreme Court’s increasingly extreme right-wing views.
Women’s suffrage advocates first draftedThe ERA was first passed in 1923. Congressman Phyllis Sleeply fought for its passage for many decades. When the ERA was finally passed in 1972, 30 states ratified the measure in the following year — but anti-feminist anti-LGBTQ activist Phyllis Schlafly waged a campaign against its adoption, saying that it would lead to equal rights for gay and trans people. Her campaign was successful and support for this amendment rapidly declined, especially among Republicans.
Currently, dark money groups like Concerned Women for America (CWA) and Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) are using similar anti-LGBTQ scare tactics in order to fight the ERA, feeding into the right wing’s growing misogyny and escalating attacks on the LGBTQ community.
Congress has other options than passing a new measure for ERA adoption. According to the Brennan Center for JusticeCongress has the power and authority to extend the deadline that was originally set for states in order to ratify ERA. Even though five states voted to repeal their previous ratifications, Congress could overrule these decisions and still consider the ERA ratified by those states. These methods could be difficult to pass due the Senate filibuster, likely Republican opposition.
In fact three Republican senatorsRecently, I asked David Ferriero, then-U.S. Archivist to agree to not adopt the amendment as Democrats made a new push for it adoption. Last year, every Republican in the House voted against a measure to remove the ERA’s deadline, and the proposal was never brought to a vote in the Senate.