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Senate Fails to Advance Equal Rights Amendment Resolution

This article was originally published in CNN by Ted Barrett, Nicky Robertson, Haley Talbot and Clare Foran

The Senate on Thursday failed to advance a resolution to remove the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, a proposed amendment to the Constitution.

The resolution failed 51-47. Although it had two Republican co-sponsors – Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine – most GOP senators opposed it. Republicans have generally argued they don’t think the amendment is needed because of the equal protections provided to women in the 14th Amendment.

Supporters, however, say the ERA would ban discrimination on the basis of sex and guarantee equality for all under the Constitution.

The vote served as a way for Democrats to put Republicans on the spot over the issue, but there has been little to no expectation that both chambers of Congress would pass the resolution.

The ERA has been ratified by 38 states, seemingly meeting the required three-fourths needed to be approved. However, some of those states adopted it after a congressionally mandated deadline had passed, raising questions about the validity of those actions, and several others later rescinded their support.

The failed resolution would have waived the deadline, paving the way for the ERA to be adopted if both chambers of Congress passed and it was signed into law by the President. “This joint resolution provides that the Equal Rights Amendment, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, was ratified by three-fourths of the states and is therefore a valid constitutional amendment, regardless of any time limit that was in the original proposal,” according to a summary of the legislation.

Ahead of Thursday’s vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged his colleagues to support the legislation.

“This resolution is necessary as it is time when America can never hope to be a land of freedom and opportunity so long as half its population is treated like second class citizens” Schumer said.

Schumer pointed to the Supreme Court’s decision last year to overturn Roe v. Wade to argue the ERA should be passed now.

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