Equal Rights Amendment (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was the most highly publicized and debated constitutional amendment before the United States for most of the 1970s and early 1980s. First submitted by Congress to the states for ratification on March 22, 1972, it failed to be ratified by its final deadline of June 30, 1982. If ratified, the ERA would have become the TWENTY-SEVENTH AMENDMENT to the Constitution. The proposed addition would have read, "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."
The ERA was written by ALICE PAUL, of the National Woman's Party, and was first introduced in Congress in 1923. No action on the amendment was taken until the NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN, which was founded in 1966, revived interest in it.
When the amendment was first submitted to the states in 1972, Congress prescribed a deadline of seven years for ratification. Because an amendment must be ratified by the legislatures or conventions of three-fourths of the states, the ERA required approval by thirty-eight states.
Advocates of the ERA intended it to give women constitutional protection beyond the EQUAL PROTECTION Clauses of the Fifth and...
(The entire section is 702 words.)
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