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Biden urges Congress to act now on Equal Rights Amendment

WorldJan 27, 2022 08:50PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden reacts to questions about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer after it was reported Breyer will retire at the end of the court's current term, as he hosts chief executives of major U.S. companies at the White Hou 2/2

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden on Thursday called on Congress to immediately enshrine the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. Constitution and formally protect women's rights nearly a century after lawmakers first raised them.

In a statement, Biden urged Congress "to pass a resolution recognizing ratification of the ERA," saying recent legal analysis showed there was nothing preventing lawmakers from acting.

The Democratic president's call comes amid jostling over the deadline to enact the ERA, which passed Congress in 1972 with a 1982 deadline to be enacted if 38 state legislatures voted to approve. Nearly 100 years have passed since it was first introduced in 1923.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives separately unveiled a resolution to enshrine the ERA, but it could fall short of the 60 votes needed in the Senate, where Democrats control just 50 seats.

Congressional aides also said the ERA resolution would have to overcome the filibuster unless Republicans agree to pass it by unanimous consent.

While supporters say the ERA is needed to protect against sexual discrimination and would help achieve equal pay, opponents argue the original timetable has passed and that the amendment is no longer needed.

Virginia became the 38th state in 2020 to adopt the ERA, but Republican then-President Donald Trump sought to block ratification with a legal memo saying the process must begin anew.

A new Justice Department legal analysis, however, allows the process to move forward and "makes clear, there is nothing standing in Congress’s way from doing so," Biden said.

House oversight panel Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and other Democrats argue that the ERA made clear it takes effect two years after the final state’s ratification, with Thursday marking two years since Virginia's vote.

The resolution "reaffirms what we already know to be true: the Equal Rights Amendment is the 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution," Maloney said.

The issue also remains entangled in the federal courts: Virginia, Illinois and Nevada sued to have the ERA declared valid.

In a statement, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration said it would abide by the Justice Department's legal opinion unless otherwise directed by a final court order.

Biden urges Congress to act now on Equal Rights Amendment
 

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Comments (4)
Bill Riley
Bill Riley Jan 27, 2022 11:38AM ET
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Equality only exists under communism.
Green Mango
Green Mango Jan 27, 2022 11:38AM ET
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..and what an existence that is
Green Mango
Green Mango Jan 27, 2022 11:38AM ET
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Except for the party leadership.  Rules and property confiscation are for the ruled masses, not for the ruling class.
Bill Riley
Bill Riley Jan 27, 2022 11:26AM ET
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Saturday, January 22, 2022The Lefts' Increasingly Untenable Approach to Black PeopleBY KEVIN DOWNEY JR.
Mark Manley
Mark Manley Jan 27, 2022 11:10AM ET
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As a Healthcare professional, my colleagues and I have considered this issue hundreds of times, not once have any of us concluded, or even mentioned, that it is a de facto amendment to the constitution, that's absurd
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Jan 27, 2022 11:10AM ET
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mark still working as the hospital janitor. that's not exactly a healthcare professional.
Saroop Calvete
Saroop Calvete Jan 27, 2022 10:01AM ET
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Equality means no liberty
Green Mango
Green Mango Jan 27, 2022 10:01AM ET
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This sis ploy.  Elitist ploy
Green Mango
Green Mango Jan 27, 2022 10:01AM ET
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** is a ploy**
 
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