EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT (PROPOSED)
ISSUE BRIEF NUMBER IB74122
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
MAJOR ISSUES SYSTEM
DATE ORIGINATED 10/18/74
DATE UPDATED 07/08/82
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CALL 287-5700
The proposed E q u a l Rights Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution was f i r s t
introduced i n 1 9 2 3 , and was passed by the Congress in 1972.
In 1 9 7 8 ,
Congress extended the original deadline for ratification of the ERA.
if i t receives approval in the form of ratification by 3 8 States before J u n e
3 0 , 1 9 8 2 , the measure will become the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, a n d
will require equal treatment under Federal a n d State laws and practices
a l l persons, regardless of sex.
While some Americans would welcome a
constitutional guarantee of equal rights and responsibilities for persons o f
both s e x e s , others view the proposed amendment a s a potential threat to
family life and t o the traditional roles of men and women.
BACKGROUND AND POLICY ANALYSIS
The proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S.
Constitution w a s
f i r s t introduced 3 years after the 19th Amendment
(to provide women's
suffrage) was ratified. After being introduced i n various f o r m s i n nearly
every Congress s i n c e 1 9 2 3 , the ERA was approved by the 92d Congress in 1972.
The proposed a m e n d m e n t provides that:
Equality of rights under the law
shall not be denied o r abridged by
the United States or by any State
on account of sex.
The Congress shall have the power to
enforce, by appropriate legislation,
the provisions of this article.
This amendment shall take effect two
years after the date of ratification.
The Judiciary Committees of both Houses o f Congress had held hearings o n
the measure a n d had reported the amendment t o the full House and Senate prior
to its passage by the 92d Congress. The Senate previously had passed
i n the 81st Congress on Jan.
2 5 , 1 9 5 0 , a n d in the 8 3 d
Congress on J u l y 1 6 , 1953. On both occasions, the measure included what w a s
known a s the "Hayden rider," which provided that "the provisions of this
article shall not be construed t o impair any rights, benefits, or exemptions
now or hereafter conferred by l a w upon persons of the female sex."
Proponents of the measure consistently resisted attempts to amend the ERA.
The House o f Representatives passed the Equal Rights Amendment i n the 9 1 s t
Congress on Aug. 1 0 , 1 9 7 0 , after the discharge procedure was used to f r e e the
proposal from the Judiciary Committee. There had been no committee action o n
the ERA for 2 2 years prior to this action.
When the Senate considered the measure i n October 1 9 7 0 , i t adopted two
to exempt women from the draft and to permit
nondenominational prayers in public schools a n d other public buildings.
Supporters of the ERA were again unhappy with an amended version, a n d on Nov.
1 9 , 1 9 7 0 , by unanimous consent, the Senate laid a s i d e the proposed E R A , and
took n o f u r t h e r a c t i o n i n the 9 1 s t Congress.
The House passed t h e ERA (H.J.Res. 208) I n the 9 2 d Congress on Oct.
1 9 7 1 , rejecting two committee amendments which would have:
(1) added the
words "of any personvf t o Section 1 , and (2) a d d e d a section allowing the
exemption o f w o m e n f r o m the draft a n d holding that the ERA would not impair
the validity of a n y l a w which "reasonably promotes the health a n d safety of
After rejecting 1 0 amendments proposed by Sen. Sam E r v i n , the
Senate approved H.J.Res. 2 0 8 on Mar. 2 2 , 1 9 7 2 , clearing i t f o r ratification
by the States.
Three-fourths (38) of the States must ratify the ERA before i t can become
a part of the Constitution.
The original d e a d l i n e for ratification was Mar.
2 2 , 1979. T h e 9 5 t h Congress enacted legislation extending the deadline until
J u n e 3 0 , 1982.
I t would take effect two y e a r s after f u l l ratification.
The f i r s t State to ratify, Hawaii, did
so within hours o f f i n a l
congressional approval. T o d a t e , 3 5 S t a t e s have ratified the m e a s u r e ,
including N e b r a s k a , Tennessee, I d a h o , K e n t u c k y , and South D a k o t a
Lt. Governor, a c t i n g with the power of the Governor, who was o u t of t o w n ,
vetoed the rescission),
to rescind ratification
Chronology f o r dates of State ratification a n d rescission).
The question o f whether a State may rescind i t s ratification of a proposed
amendment has never been finally resolved by
either the courts or t h e
Congress. H i s t o r i c a l l y , most legal opinion has tended to a g r e e with the
Su.preme C o u r t decision in Coleman v.
Miller, 307 U.S.
rescission i s a "political q u e s t i o n w ) that Congress has f u l l d i s c r e t i o n , f r e e
from judicial r e v i e w , t o determine the
ratification. In the instances of the F o u r t e e n t h and Fifteenth Amendments,
Congress determined that withdrawal of a prior
ratification was i n v a l i d ,
thereby establishing precedent
H o w e v e r , because the action of one Congress i s not binding o n
another Congress, the question remains open and i s subject to discussion i n
the ratification of ERA.
Legislation was introduced i n the 9 5 t h Congress to
provide t h a t any S t a t e legislature which
rescinds its ratification of a
proposed a m e n d m e n t t o the Constitution shall be considered
to have not
ratified the amendment.
Amendments to H.J.Res. 6 3 8 to a l l o w rescissions were
defeated by the H o u s e a n d Senate.
CONTROVERSY OVER PROPOSED AMENDMENT
Controversy over t h e proposed amendment r e l a t e s to:
of its probable effects i n some a r e a s , ( 2 ) whether there should be room i n
the l a w f o r " r e a s o n a b l e w distinctions in t h e treatment of men a n d w o m e n , a n d
(3) whether a constitutional amendment i s the proper vehicle f o r improving
the legal status o f women in our Nation.
T h e r e is l i t t l e disagreement a b o u t the general intent of the proposed
Equal Rights Amendment.
Legislative intent i n this regard i s clearly seen i n
the Senate debate on the measure i n March
1 9 7 2 , the H o u s e a n d Senate
Judiciary Committee reports o n the measure, and congressional hearings h,eld
in 1970-1971 (see Reports and Hearings).
A s stated in the Senate Judiciary
Committee report o n t h e measure, " T h e basic principle o n which the Amendment
rests may be stated shortly:
sex should not be a factor i n determining the
l e g a l rights o f men o r women....
T h e Amendment will a f f e c t o n l y governmental
a c t i o n ; the private a c t i o n s and the private relationships of men and women
a r e unaffected."
T h e Equal Rights Amendment
require that governments
person, male or f e m a l e , a s a citizen and individual under
t h e law.
directed a t eliminating
in the l a w which
equality o f rights o r
nondiscrimination with regard to sex.
Thus every Federal or State l a w which
makes a discriminatory distinction between men and women would
under the Equal Rights Amendment.
a n d opponents of
amendment a g r e e that proper interpretation of the ERA would
result i n the
elimination of the use of sex a s the sole factor in determining, f o r example,
who would be subj.ect t o the military draft, if one were reinstated; who in a
divorce action would
custody of a child; who
responsibility f o r family support; or who would
subject t o
Public schools could not require higher admissions standards for persons
one sex than for the other; courts could not impose longer jail sentences on
convicted criminals of
protections which have been or are now extended t o members o f o n e
s e x , but
not to members of the other s e x , would have to be either extended to everyone
or eliminated entirely.
Although there i s general agreement o n the intent of
the a m e n d m e n t , o n e
issue of interpretation o n which opinions still are divided
existence o f separate restrooms, prisons, a n d d o r m i t o r i e s for males
f e m a l e s would be permissible under provisions of the proposed
Equal R i g h t s
One point of view i s that the constitutional
r i g h t of
established by the Supreme Court i n Griswold v.
Connecticut, 3 8 1 U.S.
(1965), would permit a separation of the sexes with respect t o such places a s
public restrooms and sleeping quarters.
T h e opposing v i e w i s that the most
recent constitutional amendment takes precedence over a l l other
the constitution with
i t i s inconsistent, and
to a l l o w
facilities would be to revive the "separate but equal" doctrine.
of the amendment also express concern that the Court has not y e t
defined the rights of privacy and that therefore
it i s impossible
ascertain how this principle
would be applied under
the Equal R i g h t s
Proponents have argued that the existence of
i n n o way discriminates o n the basis
sex and d o e s not violate
equality-of-rights principle which underlies the Equal Rights Amendment.
A second disagreement concerns whether
i t i s i n the interest of
N a t i o n , or of the women o f the Nation, to
establish . a b s o l u t e , unequivocal
equality of treatment for men a n d women under the law.
some w h o
believe that because o f unique characteristics o r traditional societal r o l e s ,
women should receive different legal treatment than men.
T h e opposing v i e w
i s t h a t a l l citizens should share equally the rights and responsibilities
citizenship under the law.
T h i s basic conflict leads to the third major area of disagreement: whether
the process of constitutional amendment i s the best means
to i m p r o v e t h e
legal status of women in the United States.
O n e point
of v i e w
is that a
ConStitUtiOnal amendment is unnecessary because the equal protection
of the 14th Amendment, if properly
T h i s idea i s
lacking a rational basis which makes distinctions based o n sex.
closely allied with the view that. men and women
absolutely equal legal treatment.
The approach of
relying o n the
Amendment appears to offer more flexibility of interpretation than
d o e s the
proposed Equal Rights Amendment, which forbids any sex-based
Those who hold this view also point to the Supreme Court decision in Reed
R e e d , 404 U.S. 71 (1971), a s a strong indication that the C o u r t would
sex-based discrimination to be in violation of the equal protection clause of
the Fourteenth Amendment.
In the Reed c a s e , the Supreme Court ruled a s
U n C O n ~ t i t U t i O n a l a n Idaho statute requiring preference of male relatives over
f e m a l e relatives a s administrators of estates.
The Reed decision represented
the f i r s t time the Supreme Court had struck down a l a w which
Since R e e d , several other c a s e s have struck down gender classifications:
Frontiero v. R i c h a r d s o n , 4 1 1 U.S. 6 7 7 (1973), concerning military benefits in
which four J u s t i c e s argued t h a t sex
Classification," t h r e e argued that the C o u r t should n o t make
determination, o n e rejected the idea o u t r i g h t , and the ninth took no position
(1975), concerning jury
o n the matter; T a y l o r v. L o u i s i a n a , 4 1 9 U.S.
selection; Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld, 4 2 0 U.S. 6 3 6 (1975) , concerning S o c i a l
Security benefits f o r widowed f a t h e r s ; Stanton v. S t a n t o n , 4 2 1 U.S. 7 (1975),
concerning the a g e o f majority; Craig e t al. v. Boren, Governor of O k l a h o m a ,
et al., 4 2 9 U.S. 1 9 0 (1976), concerning the a g e of majority i n the sale of
- , 4 5 U.S.L.W. 4 2 3 7 (Mar. 2 ,
3.2% beer, and C a l i f a n o v. G o l d f a r b , - - U.S.
1 9 7 7 1 , concerning social security benefits for widowers.
On the other h a n d , several recent Supreme Court decisions have upheld
gender classifications which discriminated against men and i n favor o f w o m e n ,
on the ground t h a t they a r e intended to overcome historic discrimination
F o r example: Kahn v. S.hevin, 416 U.S. 3 5 1 (1974), regarding
tax exemptions benefitting widows; and Schlesinger v. Ballard, 419 U.S.
(1975), which involved promotion systems i n the Navy.
Because gender classifications have not been struck down with consistency
in recent S u p r e m e C o u r t decisions, supporters of a constitutional a m e n d m e n t
a r g u e that there is a need for the establishment of a clear r u l e that gender
classifications a r e suspect and t h a t they must be
compelling interest in order to b e sustained. T o d a t e , the Court has not
held that sex discrimination i s "suspect" under the equal p r o t e c t i o n . c l a u s e
of the Fourteenth Amendment, thus leaving the burden of proof
complaining w o m a n t h a t a sex-based classification is "unreasonable."
CONTROVERSY OVER EXTENSION OF T H E RATIFICATION DEADLINE
T h r e e basic questions arose during consideration of extending
ratification d e a d l i n e f o r the proposed
Equal Rights Amendment:
Congress have t h e power to extend the deadline;
(2) if Congress has such
authority, should i t extend the ratification deadline; a n d
(3) i f Congress
chose to extend the deadline, by what legislative method would the extension
have to be enacted.
T h e first question regarding congressional authority t o extend the
deadline f o r ratification had n e v e r been addressed
Congresses or t h e courts. Article V of the Constitution sets forth the
method of a m e n d i n g the Constitution; however, i t does not mention any time
limits for ratification of a proposed amendment.
The Supreme Court i n D i l l o n
v. G l o s s , 256 U.S. 3 6 8 (1921), held that under Article V of the Constitution,
C o n g r e s s , in proposing a n a m e n d m e n t , may f i x a reasonable time
Beginning with the 18th Amendment and continuing until the
2 3 r d , except f o r the 19th Amendment
(the Woman's Suffrage Amendment)
which no time l i m i t w a s set, 7-year limits were included in the substantive
provisions of amendments. T h e n , beginning with the 23rd Amendment, time
limits were included a s a part df the resolving
amendment, as i s the case o f the
resolution proposing a constitutional
proposed Equal Rights Amendment.
Therefore, there is no disagreement
the Congress has the power to set a reasonable time limit for ratification of
a proposed amendment.
With respect to the actual time limit set for ratification of a proposed
a m e n d m e n t , the Supreme Court has held that seven years is reasonable
v. Gloss) and the Congress can make the final determination, with respect
a n amendment which originally had no time l i m i t , on the reasonableness of the
time within which a sufficient number of States must a c t (Coleman v.
3 0 7 U.S. 4 3 3 (1939)).
For example, since 1 9 0 0 only o n e amendment,
proposed child-labor amendment submitted i n J u n e 1 9 2 4 , has n o t been
by the requisite number of States.
Since this proposed amendment had n o time
l i m i t , i t is still pending before the States.
If this proposed
were ratified by the requisite number of S t a t e s , i t would then be up
Congress to decide if its ratification were
amount of time.
With reference to the proposed ERA the question was whether Congress, once
i t has set a time l i m i t , could extend that time period.
T h e Coleman decision
w a s used by both opponents and proponents of the extension.
that a succeeding Congress can determine the validity of the time period only
when no time limit has been set by the proposing Congress.
that since the Court held
subsequent Congress can determine
reasonableness of the time within which a sufficient number
a c t when no time limit for ratification has been set, a
can a l s o determine the validity of the reasonableness of a time limit set by
the proposing Congress.
Opponents of the extension a l s o argued that the only role for the Congress
i n the amendment process is that of proposing amendments a n d , t h e n , perhaps
decidlng on ratification if no time limit is set. Congress,
no authority to interfere with the ratification process once begun.
a r g u m e n t was that the States when ratifying relied on the 7-year deadline a n d
i t would be unfair to these States to change the time limit.
Proponents of the extension a r g u e d , that according
to the Dillon and
Coleman decisions, the Congress has the authority to establish a reasonable
time f o r ratification and therefore may extend the period if the extension is
They further argued that the time period was
i n the
f o r a reasonable time.
resolving clause a n d not the amendment submitted to the S t a t e s , therefore, i t
i s a matter of detail, not substance, and is under the exclusive purview of
Has a reasonable period of time been given to ratification of the proposed
Equal Rights Amendment or should the Congress extend the deadline?
Opponents of the extension stated that a reasonable time has been
f o r ratification.
They argued that the purpose of the reasonable time r u l e
the Supreme Court i n Dillon was
contemporaneous consensus; that i s , a l l the ratifications
should have occurred
to reflect a
consensus of three-fourths o f the several States a t a given
i n time.
Opponents pointed out that 3 0 States ratified the ERA during the f i r s t year.
T h r e e additional States ratified the amendment i n 1 9 7 4 , one i n 1 9 7 5 and one
i n January 1977.
They argued that now the trend is against
four States have rescinded their prior ratifications. They pointed o u t that
every S t a t e legislature has considered ERA a n d worked i t s will according
its constitutional processes.
In the 1 5 unratified S t a t e s , 2 4 c o m m i t t e e
votes a n d 5 9 floor votes have taken place since the proposed
amendment w a s
submitted to the States for ratification.
Opponents a r g u e that i n this d a y
of mass communications seven years i s a'more than reasonable period of time.
Further they argued that i t i s unfair "to change the r u l e s i n the middle o f
Proponents of the extension stated t h a t the 9 2 n d C o n g r e s s set t h e 7-year
time limit because that had been t h e traditional time period set o n
a m e n d m e n t s proposed since 1 9 1 7 , with t h e 18th Amendment
(except f o r t h e
w o m a n ' s suffrage amendment, which s e t n o , time limit).
Regarding t h e
contemporaneous consensus, proponents argued that there i s no contemporaneous
consensus on the issues raised by the 1 4 t h Amendment because the d e b a t e i s
still going on.
L i k e w i s e , there is no contemporaneo.us consensus o n t h e
issues raised by the ERA nor i s there likely to be.
T h e y further argued t h a t
i t took nearly 5 0 years to get the ERA passed by Congress a n d will probably
take a t least another 50 years for the Amendment's full i m p a c t to be felt.
P r o p o n e n t s argued that public opinion polls continue t o reflect the belief o f
a majority of Americans that the ERA should be ratified.
They further a r g u e
that ERA has not been fully heard in some States. F o r e x a m p l e , i n o n e S t a t e
ERA has never come to the floor of either house.
In f o u r S t a t e s , only o n e
house has voted on ERA.
In others ERA has been held up i n committee.
l e a s t seven States have enacted r u l e s requiring more t h a n a simple majority
[ ~ l a b a m a-- three-fifths
f o r the ratification of a constitutional amendment.
i n t h e House; Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho a n d Kansas -- two-thirds
Proponents a r g u e d
both Houses; a n d Illinois -- three-fifths i n both Houses.]
that a time l i m i t can not be set o n human equality.
If the ERA had not been ratified by Mar. 2 2 , 1 9 7 9 , s o m e observers f e l t
that several options remained open for the passage and ratification of a n
Equal Rights Amendment.
If a n extension not passed
the Congress, o n e
alternative was to seek the enactment of a new amendment.
S o m e opponents o f
the extension urged the Congress to defeat the extension a n d , after t h e t i m e
l i m i t e x p i r e d , pass a revised versio'n o f the ERA more acceptable to t h e
Another i s s u e discussed i n relation to extension i s whether States should
be statutorily allowed by
such legislation t o
ratification of a proposed amendment.
T h e Supreme C o u r t has said t h a t
rescission i s a political matter for the Congress to decide.
Miller) O n e question is when should the Congress d e c i d e that i s s u e w i t h
respect to t h e proposed Equal Rights Amendment.
S o m e argued that s i n c e
rescission i s a separate i s s u e , the time t o make the decision on whether a
S t a t e can rescind i t s ratification i s w h e n the requisite number o f S t a t e s
have ratified. T h e Congress has made such determinations with respect to t h e
1 4 t h a n d 1 5 t h Amendments.
Others argued t h a t i t would be unfair to extend
the time f o r ratification without allowing States to rescind their prior
In other w o r d s , a State l e g i s l a t u r e ' s vote t o ratify would be
considered irreversable within the ratification time p e r i o d , but a c o m p a r a b l e
vote against ratification o r the rescission of a n earlier ratification could
be reversed by subsequent action.
Amendments to H.J.Res.
6 3 8 to a l l o w
rescission were defeated in both the House a n d Senate.
At the time Congress chose to extend t h e d e a d l i n e , what legislative method
should have been used?
S e v e r a l possible methods were available to the Congress f o r extending
T h o s e who
the concurrent resolution,
requiring only a majority
v o t e , argued
With respect to the constitutional
issues as requiring a two-thirds vote.
amendment process, only
the substance of proposed
Constitution require a two-thirds v o t e , a s opposed to other
amending process requiring a simple majority vote.
when deciding whether the necessary three-fourths of the States had
the 14th Amendment, used
the concurrent resolution
An argument raised against a concurrent resolution
that i t does not have the f o r c e of law a n d therefore was
Others argued that a joint resolution requiring a
necessary since the ERA
resolution. They argued that many Members of Congress may have voted for the
Amendment because of the time limit and i t would be unfair t o change t h a t
Another argument for a joint resolution w a s
time limit by a simple majority.
that i t would have the f o r c e o f law. An argument against the necessity f o r a
two-thirds vote was that extending the deadline is a matter of detail a n d not
substance; therefore, requiring only a majority vote.
A third proposal was to pass a joint resolution by
requiring the President's signature.
T h i s method, like the two-thirds
o n a joint r e ~ o l ~ t i o nwould
have the effect of law.
for t h i s
approach was that if the Congress wanted to change the time l i m i t when
ERA was being considered by t h e 9 2 n d Congress,
required only a majority vote
a n d , therefore, it should only require a
majority Vote now.
Those who argued against this method say that it i s a
dangerous precedent to involve the executive- branch
i n the process
amending the Constitution of the United States.
H.J.Res. 6 3 8 passed both the House and Senate by majority votes.
6 3 8 was signed by the President o n Oct. 2 0 , 1 9 7 8 , although there is
question a s to whether his signature i s necessary.
Although the Equal Rights Amendment w a s ratified by 35 States o u t of
requisite 38, n o States ratified
the Amendment after January 1977.
extension of the ratification period provided by H.J.Res. 6 3 8 ended
on J u n e
3 0 , 1 9 8 2 , and
automatically o n that date.
A ruling on Dec. 2 3 , 1 9 8 1 , by the U.S. District C o u r t for
substantial questions about t h e amendment's legal status with regard to
issues of rescission and extension.
In Idaho v. F r e e m a n , Civil No.
(D. Idaho, Dec. 2 3 , 1981), Judge Marion J. Callister
t h a t individual
States were not bound by their original votes to ratify
the amendment, but
might rescind a t any point before three-fourths of t h e States vote
F i v e S t a t e legislatures, Nebraska, Tennessee, I d a h o , Kentucky, a n d
South Dakota, have reversed their approval of the amendment.
said Judge Callister, is "clearly a proper
exercise of a
S t a t e ' s power
[ . ] " (Idaho v. Freeman, Slip Opinion a t p. 62.)
to determine the validity o r invalidity of a properly
o r rescission," (Ibid, p. 71)
T h e district court also said that Congress violated the Constitution when
i t extended the deadline f o r the proposed amendment.
I n his decision, J u d g e
Callister wrote that "[a]s part of the mode of ratification C o n g r e s s m a y , by
a two-thirds v o t e of both H o u s e s , set a r e a s o n a b l e time limit for the States
to a c t i n order for the ratification to be effective.
When [ s u c h a l i m i t ] i s
s e t , i t i s binding o n Congress and the States a n d it cannot be changed by
In a d d i t i o n , the Court said that even
(Ibid, p. 71.)
if Congress had the power to extend the time l i m i t , i t could not d o so by a
s i m p l e majority v o t e , a s i t did in 1 9 7 8 , since extension would
s a m e two-thirds majority i n both Houses a s required by Article V
Constitution f o r proposal of a n amendment.
H o w e v e r , on Jan. 2 5 , 1 9 8 2 , the Supreme C o u r t stayed the I d a h o court
decision in i t s entirety, thus clearing the amendment's legal s t a t u s (pending
a hearing by the Court a t a later date).
2 0 8 , 9 2 d Congress
Provides that equality of rights under the l a w
shall not be denied o r abridged by the United States or by any State o n
a c c o u n t of sex. Passed the House o f Representatives by a v o t e of 354-24 on
Oct. 1 2 , 1 9 7 1 , and passed the Senate o n Mar. 2 2 , 1 9 7 2 , by a v o t e of 84-8.
T h e amendment must be ratified by three-fourths (38) of the States within
years from the date of final approval by the Congress.
6 3 8 , 9 5 t h Congress
(Holtzman et al.)
Extends the deadline for ratification of the proposed
Ameridment until June 3 0 , 1982. Passed t h e House o n Aug. 1 5 , 1 9 7 8 , by a vote
of 233 t o 1 8 9 a n d passed the Senate on Oct. 6 , 1 9 7 8 , by a v o t e of 60 to 36.
Signed by the President on Oct. 2 0 , 1978.
1 9 2 , 9 7 t h Congress (Kindness)
Declares that equality of rights under the l a w
shall not be denied o r abridged by the United States or any S t a t e o n account
Introduced Feb. 2 5 , 1 9 8 1 ; referred to Committee o n the Judiciary.
Committee o n the Judiciary.
o n Civil and Constitutional Rights.
Equal Rights Amendment
Hearings, 9 5 t h Congress, 1 s t and 2nd s e s s i o n s , on H.J:Res.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1978.
3 7 8 p.
Hearings held Nov. 1 , 4 , and 8 , 1 9 7 7 ; and May 1 7 - 1 9 , 1978.
Senate. Committee o n the Judiciary.
Extension of t h e deadline f o r ratification
of the Equal Rights Amendment.
H e a r i n g s , 95th Congress,
(Printed hearings not y e t available.)
Hearings held Aug. 2-4, 1978.
Committee on the Judiciary.
Equal rights for men and w o m e n , 1971. H e a r i n g s ,
9 2 6 Congress, 1 s t session, on H.J.Res. 3 5 , 2 0 8 , and related
bills; and H.R. 9 1 6 and related bills.
Mar. 2 4 , 2 5 , a n d 3 1 ;
Apr. 1 , 2 , a n d 5 , 1971. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., .
1971. 7 2 4 p.
Senate. Committee on the Judiciary.
Equal r i g h t s ,
1970. Hearings, 9 1 s t C o n g r e s s , 2d s e s s i o n , o n S.J.Res. 61 a n d
S.J.Res. 231. Sept. 9 , 1 0 , 1 1 , and 1 5 , 1970. Washington,
U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1970.
4 3 3 p.
Senate. Committee o n the Judiciary.
Subcommittee o n
T h e "equal r i g h t s q qamendment.
Hearings, 9 1 s t Congress, 2d session, o n S.J.Res. 61. May 5 , 6
and 7 , 1970. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1970.
REPORTS AND CONGRESSIONAL DOCUMENTS
House. Committee on the Judiciary.
Equal r i g h t s
for men and women; report together with individual views to
accompany H.J.Res. 208. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1971.
(92d Congress, 1 s t session. House. Report no. 92-359)
Proposed equal rights amendment extension; report to accompany
H.J.Res. 638. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1 9 7 8 . .
(95th Congress, 2d session. House Report no. 95-1405).
Senate. Committee on the Judiciary.
for men and women; report together with individual views to
accompany S.J.Res. 9 , and H.J.Res. 208. W a s h i n g t o n , U.S. Govt.
Print. Off., 1972. 5 2 p.
(92d C o n g r e s s , 2d session.
Report no. 92-689)
OTHER CONGRESSIONAL ACTION
CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS
State legislatures have ratified the E q u a l Rights
South Dakota (voted to rescind 03/01/79)
Kentucky (voted to rescind 03/16/78)
Tennessee (voted to rescind 04/23/74)
Nebraska (voted to rescind 03/15/73)
Idaho (voted to rescind 02/08/77)
The following 15 State legislatures have not ratified the Equal
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina,
Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.
The following 1 6 States have equal rights provisions in their
Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania,
Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
RATIFICATION HISTORY OF THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
ratified, 03/24/72, 38-2.
rejected in committee, 02/22/73; rejected in
committee 03/07/74, 7-5; rejected in House 02/25/75,
rejected in committee, 03/05/73;
rejected in committee 04/01/74, 5-4; rejected in Senate
02/13/75, 16-14; approved on 1st reading 02/26/76,
16-14; rejected on 2nd reading 03/01/76, 15-15;
rejected in Senate, 05/05/77, 18-11; rejected
by passing amended version striking section 2,
rejected, 06/12/73, 26-6; rejected, 01/31/78
rejected by passing amended version 02/01/73,
approved a "do passn recommendation
in committee, 02/16/77, voice vote; approved a "do
not pass" recommendation in committee, 03/14/79,
by a vote of 14-4.
ratified, 04/13/72, 61-0.
House - rejected, 04/06/72, 83-77; ratified, 03/08/73,
Senate - ratified, 03/15/73, 27-9.
Senate - ratified, 03/22/72, 16-0.
ratified, 03/24/72, 91-4; rejected, 04/17/73,
64-54; ratified, 04/10/75, 62-58; ratified,
05/17/79, 66-53; ratified, 06/21/82,
Senate - rejected in
committee, 04/04/73, 3-3; rejected in Senate, 04/10/74,
21-19; rejected, 04/25/75, 21-17; rejected,
04/13/77, 21-19; rejected in committee,
04/04/79, 12-4; rejected, 05/24/79, 19-21;
rejected, 06/21/.82, 22-16.
House - rejected in committee, 02/19/73, 9-2; rejected
in House, 01/28/74, 104-70; rejected in House,
Senate - rejected, 02/17/75,
33-22; rejected in committee, 01/12/78, unanimously;
rejected, 01/21/80, 32-23; rejected in House,
ratified, 03/22/72, 51-0.
House - ratified, 03/24/72, 59-5; rescission defeated
02/13/74, 35-35; rescinded, 02/04/77, 44-22.
Senate - ratified, 03/24/72, 31-4; rescinded, 1974, 2
dissenting votes; rescinded, 02/08/77, 18-17.
ratified, 05/00/72, 30-21; rejected in
committee, 04/04/73, 14-7; rejected, 06/18/74,
30-24 as three-fifths majority is necessary
for ratification in Illinois; Senate voted to
retain the rule requiring a three-fifths vote
to ratify a constitutional amendment, 03/05/75;
Senate voted not to discharge measure from committee,
06/17/75, 30-28; rejected, 12/16/76, 29-22, a s
three-fifths majority is necessary for ratification
Illinois. House - rejected 05/16/72, 75-68, rejected,
06/30/72, 82-76; rejected, 04/04/73, 95-72;
ratified, 05/01/75, 113-62; rejected a motion
to change the three-fifths majority necessary
to ratify a constitutional amendment to a
simple majority, 03/09/77, 100-66; rejected,
06/02/77, 101-74, as 1 0 7 votes were needed to
to ratify; rejected 06/07/78, 101-65, a s 1 0 7
votes were needed for ratification; rejected
06/22/78, 105-71, as 107 votes were needed for
ratification; rejected, 06/18/80, 102-71;
rejected 06/22/82, 103-72, as 107 Votes
were needed for ratification.
House - ratified, 02/14/73, 53-45; ratified, 01/24/75,
61-39; ratified, 01/12/77, 54-45.
04/02/73, 34-16; rejected in committee, 02/13/75, 8-5;
ratified, 01/18/77, 26-24.
House - ratified, 03/24/72, 73-14.
ratified, 03/28/72, 86-37; rejected
rescission, 02/24/77, 66-56.
Senate - ratified,
ratified, 06/12/72, 56-31; voted to rescind,
02/18/76, 57-40; voted to rescind, 03/16/78, 61-28.
Senate -- ratified, 06/15/72, 20-18; voted to
rescind, 03/14/78, 23-15.
03/20/78 -- the
Lieutenant Governor, acting with the power of the
Governor who as out of town, vetoed the rescission
of Kentucky's ratification of ERA.
ratified, 06/07/72, 25-13; approved an amended
version of ERA, 01/22/75, 21-16.
06/29/72, 64-32; rejected in committee, 06/19/74,
10-7; rejected in committee, 06/11/75, 8-7; rejected in
committee, 06/16/76, 10-6; rejected in committee,
06/07/77, 11-5; rejected in committee, 06/11/79, 11-5.
House - ratified, 02/27/73, 74-72; ratified, 01/17/74,
rejected, 03/08/73, 16-15; ratified,
House - ratified, 03/24/72, 86-32.
ratified, 05/18/72, 90-18.
05/22/72, voice vote.
ratified, 01/17/73, 104-28.
rejected in Senate Committee, 02/08/73, 7-2;
rejected in committee, 03/09/76, 4-3; rejected in
committee 01/28/77, 5-4.
rejected in committee, 02/06/73, 7-3; rejected
in Senate, 06/02/75, 20-14; rejected, 03/15/77, 22-12.
House - rejected, 05/09/73, 81-70; ratified, 02/07/75,
ratified, 06/19/72, voice vote.
ratified, 06/21/72, 205-7.
ratified, 01/18/73, 73-23.
02/02/73, 25-2; ratified, 01/11/74, 35-14;
rejected rescission, 02/09/77, 25-25.
ratified, 03/23/72, 38-0;
rescinded, 03/15/73, 31-17; rejected ratification,
rejected, 03/01/73, 16-4; rejected, 02/19/75,
12-8; ratified, 02/08/77, 11-10; defeated,
02/17/75, 27-13; rejected, 02/11/77, 24-15.
House - ratified, 02/13/73,
NEW Y ORK:
Senate - ratified, 04/20/72, 51-4.
Senate - reject-ed, 03/01/73, 27-24; rejected,
03/01/77, 26-24; rejected in committee
02/16/79; motion to table 06/04/82, 27-23.
committee, 01/21/74, 10-6; approved on first reading,
04/15/75, 60-58; 'rejected on second reading, 04/16/75,
62-57; ratified, 02/09/77, 61-55.
ratified, 02/07/73, 30-20; ratified, 01/24/75,
28-22; -rejected rescission, 02/17/77, 32-18.
rejected, 02/23/73, 51-49; ratified,
ratified, 03/28/73, 54-40.
Senate - rejected
in committee, 04/22/73, 6-3; rejected in committee,
05/08/73, 5-4; ratified, 02/07/74, 20-12.
ratified, 03/23/72, voice vote.
rejected, 03/29/72, 52-36; rejected,
02/01/73, 53-45; rejected a "do pass"
motion, 01/21/75, 51-45; rejected a "report
progress" motion, 01/21/75, 51-45; approved a "do not
pass'' motion, 01/21/75, 50-43; referred back to second
House Committee, 03/15/77.
Senate - ratified, 02/01/73, 23-6; reaffirmed their
ratification, 02/22/77, 48-14.
House - ratified,
House - ratified, 05/02/72, 178-3.
ratified, 04/04/72, 39-11.
House - ratified, 03/22/72, 83-0; rejected, 04/26/73,
62-44; rejected on a motion to table, 03/26/75,
rejected on motion to table,
ratified, 01/29/73, 22-13; rejected
03/01/79, Senate concurred with House
in holding prior ratification of ERA null and
void, effective 03/23/79.
House - ratified, 03/23/72, 70-0; rescinded, 04/23/74,
ratified, 04/04/72, 25-5; rescinded,
Senate - ratified, 03/29/72, unanimously.
House - ratified, 03/30/72, 137-9.
rejected, 1972, 69-67; ratified, 01/12/73,
ratified, 02/21/73, 19-8.
rejected in committee, 02/06/73, 13-2; rejected
i n committee, 02/27/74, 02/27/74, 12-8; House failed in
effort to change rules, 01/21/77, 62-46; rejected
in committee, 02/09/78, 12-8.
Senate - rejected in committee, 02/28/74, 10-5;
approved in committee, 01/17/75, 6-5; rejected in
Senate, 01/21/75, 21-19; rejected in committee,
01/23/75, 8-7; rejected in committee, 02/04/76,
8-7; rejected in Senate, 01/27/77, 20-18 a s
21 votes were necessary for ratification; Senate
Privileges and Elections Committee voted
8-7 against a proposal to ratify; Senate rejected,
02/12/80, 19-20 (21 votes necessary to ratify);
Senate rejected, 02/'17/82, 19-20.
ratified, 03/09/73, 76-21.
ratified, 04/21/72, 31-0; rescission
defeated, 02/26/74, 18-15.
ratified, 04/19/72, 81-11.
ratified, 01/15/73, 41-20.
01/24/73, 17-12; defeated rescission, 01/22/77,
rejected, 01/24/73, 51-20; rejected, 02/18/75,
638 signed by the President.
Hearings held by Subcommittee on the Constitution
on S.J.Res. 134.
Hearings held by the Subcommittee on the Constitution
on S.J.Res. 134.
Third day of hearings held by the Subcommittee on
Civil a n d Constitutional Rights on H.J. Res. 638.
Second day of hearings held by the Subcommittee o n
Civil a n d Constitutional Rights on H.J. Res. 638.
First day o f hearings held by the Subcommittee on
Civil a n d Constitutional'Rights on H.J.Res. 638.
The Senate passed H.J.Res.
T h e H o u s e passed H.J.Res.
6 3 8 passed the Senate by a vote of 60-36.
H.J.Res. 6 3 8 , as amended by the Committee o n the Judiciary
to extend'the ratification deadline until June 3 0 , 1 9 8 2 ,
passed the House by a vote of 233-189.
Hearings held by the Subcommittee on the Constitution
on S.J.Res. 134.
House Committee on the Judiciary reported H.J.Res. 6 3 8
with a n amendment t o extend the ratification deadline
until J u n e 3 0 , 1982.
Hearings on H.J.Res. 6 3 8 held by
Subcommittee o n Civil a n d Constitutional Rights.
H.J. Res. 6 3 8 introduced to extend the deadline for
ratification of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment.
208 by a vote of 84 to 8.
208 by a vote of 3 5 4 to 24.
ADDITIONAL REFERENCE SOURCES
Brown, Barbara A . , Thomas I. Emerson, Gail Falk, and Ann E.
T h e Equal Rights Amendment:
basis f o r equal rights for women.
Yale law journal, v. 8 0 ,
no. 5 , April 1971: 871-986.
Library of Congress.
Congressional Research Service.
Amending the Federal constitution -- procedures of the
General 3ervices Administration a n d the State legislatures
[ b y ] Stuart Glass.
[washington] June 2 1 , 1971.
2 2 p.
Analysis of the constitutionality of Illinois General
A s s e m b l y ' s three-fifths majority rule [by] Karen J. Lewis.
[washington] July 31, 9978. 8 p.
Analysis regarding the issue of extending the ratification
deadline of t h e proposed Equal Rights Amendment [ b y ]
Karen J. Lewis.
[washington] 1977. 18 p.
T h e efficacy of State rescission of ratification of a F e d e r a l
constitutional amendment [ b y ] Johnny H. Killian.
1977. 10 p.
Equal Rights Amendment:
selected floor debate a n d votes [ b y ]
[ ~ a s h i n g t o n ]1974. 4 3 p.
Interpretation of 1 U.S.C.
[ ~ a s h i n g t o n ]J u n e 2 , 1978.
The proposed equal rights amendment [ b y ] Karen Keesling.
Jan. 1 5 , 1 9 7 1 ; rev. Mar. 2 4 , 1 9 7 2 ; rev. July 1 , 1977.
[ ~ a s h i n g t o n ,19771 26 p.
Ratification status of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment:
a summary report [ b y ] Karen Keesling.
[ ~ a s h i n g t o n ]1978. 5 p.
Role of Governor in adoption by State legislature of
resolution ratifying or rescinding ratification of proposed
Federal constitutional amendment [ b y ] Jay R. Shampansky.
[ ~ a s h i n g t o n ]1978. 13 p.
Sex discrimination and the U.S. Supreme Court [by]
Karen J. Lewis.
Nov. 1 8 , 1 9 7 6 ; rev. Aug. 3 , 1977.
[ ~ a s h i n g t o n ]76 p.
State by S t a t e a n a l y s i s , 1 9 7 8 and 1979: equal rights a m e n d m e n t
ratification status i n the unratified states [ b y ] Karen Keesling.
[ ~ a s h i n g t o n ]Dec. 4 , 1978.
State ratification of the proposed equal rights a m e n d m e n t
(wording and type of legislative action) [ b y ] Karen Keesling.
[ ~ a s h i n g t o n ]1978. 4 0 p.
State ratifications of the proposed equal rights a m e n d m e n t
[ b y ] Karen Lewis.
[washington] June 2 8 , 1978.
1 0 6 (b) [ b y ] Karen Lewis.