Advance Notice: Briefs

Stabenow joins effort to extend Equal Rights Amendment deadline

By: - November 25, 2019 6:31 am

Victor Moriyama/Getty Images

As hopes grow that Virginia will ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) is among 16 new co-sponsors of a Senate resolution that would remove the deadline for ratification.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow in Lansing, Oct. 8, 2019 | Laina G. Stebbins

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) is the sponsor of Senate Resolution 6. Thirty-seven states of the 38 needed have already ratified the amendment. Michigan signed off on May 22, 1972.

The 13 states that haven’t ratified the ERA are: Arizona, Utah, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Virginia. 

A congressional deadline was imposed when Congress passed the ERA. Lawmakers initially set a March 1979 ratification deadline for states, which was later extended to June 1982. But the amendment still hadn’t gotten the backing of 38 states when that deadline expired.

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Earlier this month, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee marked up and reported favorably companion legislation, H.J. Res. 79. The full U.S. House could consider the resolution as early as December.

“There should never be a deadline on equality. This bipartisan legislation should resolve any ambiguity about states’ ability to ratify the ERA,” said Cardin. “I thank my colleagues for joining this final push toward ratification and look forward to having more senators join this bipartisan effort soon.”

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.