Equal Rights Amendment

Federal Judge Says States Acted Too Late to Ratify Equal Rights Amendment

Along with Illinois and Nevada, Virginia argued that the Constitution does not give Congress any power to set a time limit on the ratification process

MANHATTAN, NY - JANUARY 18: A marcher holds a sign that say, "ERA USA" during the Woman's March in the borough of Manhattan in NY on January 18, 2020, USA. On April 15, 2020 Hulu is launching a series entitled "Mrs. America" which tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly, Through the eyes of the women of the era -- both Schlafly and second-wave feminists Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus -- the series explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the '70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted the political landscape.
Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

A federal district court judge ruled late Friday that recent state votes to ratify the proposed Equal Rights Amendment came too late to make it part of the Constitution.

The ruling was a defeat for ERA supporters and the three states that asked the judge to declare that the amendment became formally adopted after Virginia last year became the 38th state to ratify it.

Along with Illinois and Nevada, Virginia argued that the Constitution does not give Congress any power to set a time limit on the ratification process. They also argued that the deadline had no force of law, since it was placed only in the amendment's proposing clause, not in the actual text that the states voted on.

For more on this story, go to NBC News.

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