Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment on Wednesday, May 30. This places the Constitutional Amendment one state short of the states needed to be added to the Constitution.
This Amendment states that equality of rights “shall not be denied by the U. S. or any state on account of sex.”
The Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced in Congress in the 1920’s and was passed by Congress in 1972, and sent to the states for ratification. Congress had set the deadline at 1982, by which time 35 of the necessary 38 states had ratified the Amendment.
Last year Nevada ratified the Amendment, and with Illinois ratifying it this year, that leaves only one more state for the needed 38. The states that have yet to ratify the Amendment are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, and Utah. Virginia is considered the state most likely to become the 38th state to ratify.
If 38 states ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, it then will be necessary for Congress to vote to remove the arbitrary deadline for the Amendment to be added to the Constitution. This Amendment is so necessary for women; Justice Antonin Scalia said that the rights of women to be protected from discrimination are not covered by the Constitution because the Constitution does not specifically say that they have that right. The Equal Rights Amendment would correct that omission.
We need to elect to Congress those who would vote to remove the deadline and allow the Equal Rights Amendment to become part of our Constitution.