Briefcase: Ratification of Equal Rights Amendment

Host: Dean Leonard Baynes


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Almost four decades after the congressional deadline to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, Dean Leonard Baynes with the University of Houston Law Center says it is closer to being the law of the land.

"The ERA was first introduced to the U.S. Congress nearly one hundred years ago. Suffragist and women's rights advocate, Alice Paul, along with lawyer Crystal Eastman, wrote the amendment to ensure that constitution rights would be applied to all citizens, male and female. They intended for the Amendment to provide a legal remedy against sex discrimination."

"In 1971, the ERA was reintroduced, and in 1972 it was quickly approved by Congress and presented to the states for ratification; only 35 states of the 38 needed voted to add it to the Constitution. Then, four states attempted to rescind their ratification creating doubt on the number of states needed to ratify."

"Now, the Equal Rights Amendment has been revived. With Nevada ratifying in 2017, and Illinois in 2018, the ERA has moved a few steps closer to being a reality."