(DCWatchdog.com) – A proposed amendment to the US Constitution codifying equal rights for women – the so-called Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) – has failed to gather enough votes at the US Senate.
The ERA was first proposed in 1923, a century ago. In Thursday’s vote in the Senate, an ERA resolution was supposed by 51 senators and rejected by 47.
The Equal Rights Amendment proposal thus came nine votes short of the 60 required to clear the filibuster hurdle, Reuters reported, as cited by Newsmax.
If it had passed, the resolution would have nixed a 1982 deadline for the amendment’s ratification.
Because of the deadline approved in the late 1970s, the ERA has not come into force even though three more states approved it after 1982 – Nevada, Illinois, and Virginia.
Only two Republican US Senators – Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine – sided with the Democrats in Thursday’s vote.
The highest-ranking Democrat in the US Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), declared that adopting the Equal Rights Amendment was even more important in today’s America because, in June 2022, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, thus killing the “national right to abortion.”
“To the horror of hundreds of millions of American people, women in America have far fewer rights today than they did even a year ago,” Schumer stated before Thursday’s vote.
Anti-abortion groups have warned that adopting the Equal Rights Amendment could turn into a pathway to making abortion a constitutional right.
According to Reuters, failing to pass the ERA resolution will probably focus public “attention on women’s rights in the 2024 White House campaign.”
It is noted that the ERA was not approved by the US Congress until 1972, almost 50 years after it was first proposed.
However, three-fourths of state legislatures must ratify amendments to the US Constitution – or 38 out of 50 – to enter into force. No presidential approval is necessary.
In 2021, a US District Court ruled that the three state ratifications of the Equal Rights Amendment after the 1982 deadline “came too late to count.”
In February 2022, a federal appeals court rejected motions by Illinois and Nevada for adopting the ERA.
The Trump administration decided that the amendment’s ratification had to start over. Even though the Biden administration hasn’t officially changed the official executive branch’s position, it declared its support for the ERA.
“It is long past time to definitively enshrine the principle of gender equality in the Constitution,” the White House declared Thursday.
Advocates of the ERA claim it would guarantee equal pay for women and women’s rights in legal matters.
Those opposed insist that the ERA could require women to be subjected to a military draft.
The Senate on Thursday fell short of the votes needed to enshrine equal rights for women in the Constitution, a century after a guarantee of gender equality was proposed in Congress. https://t.co/nrxdkSUcWE
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) April 27, 2023