Congressional Legislation
ERA "back-from-the-dead" resolution
Bill # H.J.RES.53

Original Sponsor:
Jackie Speier (D-CA 14th)

Cosponsor Total: 166
(last sponsor added 07/23/2018)
  1 Republicans
  165 Democrats
About This Legislation:
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) opposes adding a so-called "Equal Rights Amendment" to the federal Constitution, unless an "abortion-neutral amendment" is included to prevent the ERA from being used as a pro-abortion legal weapon.  In 1972, Congress submitted to the states an ERA that contained no abortion-neutral language, but it failed to achieve ratification by the required 38 state legislatures during the seven-year deadline that Congress included in the original resolution; only 35 legislatures passed ratification resolutions, most of which explicitly referred to the deadline, and five of those rescinded their ratifications before the deadline.  In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that the 1972 ERA was dead.  Nevertheless, pro-abortion Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Ca.) has introduced H. J. Res. 53, which purports to retroactively remove the ratification deadline.  Speier's resolution is based on the so-called "three-state theory," which holds that ratification deadlines are not binding, and that the 1972 ERA therefore will become part of the U.S. Constitution if ratified by three more state legislatures.  NRLC opposes H.J. Res. 53 because Speier's resolution seeks to place the pro-abortion 1972 ERA into the U.S. Constitution, and also because NRLC believes that it represents an attempt to evade the constitutional amendment process spelled out in the Constitution itself.  The Senate companion resolution is S. J. Res. 5.  To view documentation on the ERA-abortion connection, and documentation that the 1972 ERA died in 1978, click here.  To read NRLC's 2015 letter opposing attempts to resurrect a federal ERA, click here.
Detailed, up-to-date bill status information on H.J.RES.53.
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