Newsletter: November 8, 2019

JUDICIARY SETS NOVEMBER 13TH DATE FOR MARK-UP OF EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT DEADLINE REMOVAL BILL H. J. Res. 79

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 8, 2019 –  The ERA Coalition, comprised of over 100 organizations across the country working to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, thanks House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler for scheduling a mark-up of the bill to remove the deadline on the ERA. This is another major step toward equality for every girl and woman in America. With the prospect of Virginia becoming the 38th and final state needed for ratification, the ERA is on the brink of reality. We thank the more than 1300 organizations and individuals who signed our petition to Chair Nadler to move quickly on a mark-up and vote. 

On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary will hold a mark-up on the resolution proposed by Rep. Jackie Speier to eliminate any time restriction on passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. After the bill is considered and voted out of Committee, it will then have to be voted on by the full House of Representatives.  

Nadler told The New York Times, “It is now highly likely that if we eliminate the deadline, Virginia will ratify and become the 38th state, and then the ERA can go into effect as a constitutional amendment.” 

“I am thrilled that the Judiciary Committee is marking up my resolution to facilitate the expeditious ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment,” said Rep. Jackie Speier. “A vote for the ERA is a vote for equality. It’s a vote to dismantle the legacy of sex discrimination in our society. Women are sick and tired of being second-class citizens in their own country – we won’t tolerate being paid less for our work, violated with impunity, and discriminated against for being who we are. We demand equality and the ERA now!”

“We urge Speaker Pelosi to schedule the full vote as soon as possible, and we urge the US Senate to take up the companion bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators Ben Cardin and Lisa Murkowski immediately,” said Jessica Neuwirth and Carol Jenkins, Co-Presidents of the ERA Coalition. “This amendment was first proposed nearly a century ago. Long enough to think about whether or not women deserve constitutional equality.” 

Long time ERA proponent Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said, “The momentum to finally ratify the Equal Rights Amendment just keeps growing stronger. I am thrilled the House is moving forward the resolution to eliminate the ratification deadline. After the amazing victories in Virginia to elect a pro-ERA majority in the state legislature, we have never been closer to enshrining women’s equality in our Constitution. Tireless advocates across the country have brought us to this point, and I am proud to support this important step in the House.”

Proposed by Alice Paul in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress in 1972, nearly 40 years ago. It states simply: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged by the United States or any state based on account of sex.”

The deadline has been a controversial element of the amendment’s history. First set at seven years–and then extended by Congress another three years–it is contained in the preamble, or introduction of the amendment, not the amendment itself and was not voted on by states.

Thirty-seven of the required 38 states have now ratified the amendment, including Nevada in 2017 and Illinois in 2018. With the recent election of pro-ERA legislators in Virginia, that state is expected to be the 38th and final state. If the House passes its removal of deadline bill as expected, that leaves the Senate removal bill still to be voted on.

“We will ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The question is no longer if, but when,” said Senator Cardin. “Most Americans are surprised to learn that the ERA is not already part of the U.S. Constitution, so it’s high time Congress step up and help make that happen. Congress needs to vote on our resolutions to formally remove deadline for ratifying the ERA.”

The House Judiciary mark-up of the deadline removal bill comes after the historic Judiciary hearing in Congress on April 30, 2019, the first Congressional hearing in 36 years, organized with the help of the ERA Coalition.

Our goal is to amend the Constitution to ensure that one cannot be discriminated against because of one’s sex. The ERA Coalition is comprised of some 100 national and local organizations across the country working for the equality of girls and women, boys and men. We strategize with states seeking ratification. We work with legislators on the amendment and other ERA bills. We’ve provided groundbreaking research. Our team of legal scholars has examined the next steps to a fully realized Equal Rights Amendment.

ABOUT THE ERA COALITION: 

The ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality was founded in 2014 to bring concerted, organized action to the effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Comprised of nearly one hundred organizations across the country, the Coalition provides education and advocacy on Constitutional Equality. The ERA Coalition’s groundbreaking research indicates that more than 94% of all Americans want an Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA Coalition/FFWE has offices in New York City and Washington, DC.

Media Inquiries:

Danielle Laurion, InkHouse for the ERA Coalition 

danielle@inkhouse.com 

IN THE NEWS

Our Co-Founder and Co-President Jessica Neuwirth on WNYW-NY (FOX) – New York, NY
FOX 5 News at 5

Our COO and DC Director, Bettina Hager Quoted in The NYT

“The most important part of the Equal Rights Amendment is that it is a statement of principle and permanence.”

– Statement for New York Times from Bettina Hager, COO and DC Director of The ERA Coalition.

Co-Presidents Carol Jenkins and Jessica Neuwirth Quoted in The NYT 

Linda Coberly, Chair of The ERA Coalition Legal Task Force Quoted in The Atlantic

Vox Features RBG on the ERA

Carol Jenkins
Co-President and CEO
ERA Coalition