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The Influential Equal Rights Amendments

The Influential Equal Rights Amendments

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is an Amendment that would formally implement that all people under the Constitution cannot be discriminated against because of their sex. The Equal Rights Amendment was first created and proposed in 1923 by Alice Paul. Alice Paul had drafted and introduced this particular Amendment at the 75th anniversary of the Women’s Rights convention.

However, with this early incarnation of the ERA, there was not much progress that occurred. During the early decades of the 1900s, the Equal Rights Amendment remained a committee fixture and rarely ever reached the floor where the Senate and the House of Representatives could discuss it.

In 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment was reintroduced and made it to Congress. From there, it was voted on by both governing Houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate. In order for an Amendment to be passed through Congress, both Houses must push the Amendment forth with a two-thirds majority vote.

Once it was voted on and affirmed by Congress, the Equal Rights Amendment had to be sent out to the states in order to obtain a three-fourths majority vote. This required that the Amendment receive ratification within 38 states in the United

States in order for it to be implemented. Right after being brought to the states, it had already received 22 ratifications, but then progression slowed down. The ERA had a deadline of 10 years for ratification, and by the time the ten years were up, it had been ratified in roughly 34 states, just four shies of the necessary number.

Recently there have been discussions from various individuals in Congress about bringing the Equal Rights Amendment to the floor again, but without putting a deadline on ratification in order to give the ERA ample time to pass.