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Virginia Ratifies Equal Rights Amendment Almost 40 Years After Deadline

AP Photo

Virginia has become the 38th and final state needed for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Too bad the deadline for ratification of the proposed amendment ended in 1982.  


The ERA was written by two feminists, radical and socialist, who first introduced the amendment back in 1923. It would already be part of the Constitution today if Phyllis Schlafly hadn't come along and pointed out all the terrible things that would happen to women under the proposed amendment.  

The ERA would end all legal distinctions between the sexes. Once legal distinctions between the sexes were removed, Schlafly argued, women could be drafted into the military. Separate bathrooms for the sexes would be made illegal (something liberals never gave up on), men could compete in women's sports (move over transgenders), and women's shelters may be forced to close down. Schlafly organized a conservative grassroots movement and stopped the ERA dead in its tracks. 

For years, Virginia lawmakers voted against ratification of the ERA. Republican legislator Margaret Ransone, whose vote helped defeat Virginia's ratification of the ERA in early 2019, recounted in a speech before the Virginia House of Delegates how mothers covered their daughters ears when the legislator got up to speak in opposition to the constitutional amendment. 

"I tell young girls," Ransone said, "I don’t care if you agree with me or not. Participating in the political process is important." 

But leftists are known to subvert the political process in order to push through their radical agenda, and now that immigration has turned Virginia blue, feminist activists are hopeful they can pretend like the 1982 deadline never existed. But the U.S. Justice Department recently splashed some cold water on the dreaming activists. 


The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel posted an opinion declaring that "because three-fourths of the state legislatures did not ratify before the deadline that Congress imposed, the Equal Rights Amendment has failed of adoption and is no longer pending before the States."

"Accordingly," the opinion continues, "even if one or more state legislatures were to ratify the proposed amendment, it would not become part of the Constitution, and the Archivist could not certify its adoption under 1 U.S.C. § 106b. Congress may not revive a proposed amendment after a deadline for its ratification has expired. Should Congress wish to propose the amendment anew, it may do so through the same procedures required to propose an amendment in the first instance, consistent with Article V of the Constitution."

Nevertheless, many leftists celebrated Virginia's ratification of the ERA on Thursday. Activists know they have friends on the courts who might just do a little activism of their own in order to make that pesky little deadline simply go away. 

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