Virginia moved to the brink of becoming the crucial 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment on Wednesday, a momentous victory for many women’s rights advocates even though it is far from certain the measure will ever be added to the U.S. Constitution.
The affirmative votes in both chambers of the Virginia legislature came decades after Congress sent the ERA to the states in 1972, passing it with bipartisan support. ERA advocates say hitting the 38 mark means the amendment will have surpassed the three-quarters of states the amendment needs to be added to the Constitution.
Opponents disagree. Court battles are expected to unfold over a long-passed 1982 ratification deadline set by Congress as well as moves by five states that ratified it in the 1970s to rescind their support.
— Jennifer Carroll Foy (@JCarrollFoy) January 15, 2020
— Julie Carey (@JulieCareyNBC) January 15, 2020
BREAKING: The Virginia House and Senate have passed the Equal Rights Amendment, making Virginia the 38th and final state needed to ratify the amendment to the U.S. Constitution. #ERAhttps://t.co/YFH7qzwC7C
— Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (@DLCC) January 15, 2020
MOMENT: The House of Delegates votes to make Virginia the 38th state to ratify the #ERA. A legal fight with DOJ likely ahead after they ruled deadline has passed. Supporters told me beforehand you can’t continue the fight without action first. @CBS6 pic.twitter.com/r2Bdat3W28
— Jake Burns (@JakeBurnsCBS6) January 15, 2020