Congresswoman Barbara Lee Votes to Remove Time Limit Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) voted to pass the H.J.Res. 17, legislation that removes the arbitrary time limit for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, taking a critical step toward ensuring the ERA becomes the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

Nearly 100 years ago, the Equal Rights Amendment was drafted, stating that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged.” A century later, the ERA is still not a part of the U.S. Constitution, even having passed both chambers of Congress, due to an arbitrary deadline that had been set for its ratification.  

“Passing this critical amendment moves us one step closer to ensuring that our Constitution explicitly prohibits sex discrimination and reaffirms equality for all women,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “The Equal Rights Amendment, as part of our Constitution, would give women a critical legal tool to combat the discrimination of women face every day—especially women of color. This includes pay discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and sexual and domestic violence.

“During a pandemic that has exacerbated inequality for women and women of color, adding the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution has never been more crucial. Explicitly putting gender equality in the Constitution is a long overdue measure that will have broad and transformative impacts on the lives of all women.”

The ERA would apply the most demanding standards of review in sex discrimination cases, just as the Constitution requires the most demanding standard of review in cases of discrimination based on race and national origin. It also expands the power of Congress to enact laws that ensure better legal protections for women and confirm the rightful place of gender equality in all aspects of life.

This legislations has been endorsed by: the ERA Coalition, the National Organization for Women, the YWCA, the League of Women Voters, the National Women’s Law Center, the American Association of University Women, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Feminist Majority, GLAAD, National Association of Women Lawyers, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Urban League, Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), TIME’S UP Now, Women’s Media Center, the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, among others.