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Kaine Joins Gillibrand in Introducing Resolution to Recognize the Equal Rights Amendment as 28th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine joined Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO) in introducing the ERA Now resolution, a joint resolution that would direct the Archivist of the United States to affirm the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)—which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex—as the 28th Amendment of the United States Constitution. In 2020, Virginia became the 38th and final state needed to fulfill the ratification requirement. However, due to the arbitrary time limit for ratification, the ERA has not yet been finalized as an amendment by the Archivist.

“It is long past time that the ERA is certified as the 28th Amendment,” said Kaine. “I was proud when Virginia became the final state needed to ratify the amendment. Now, I hope the Archivist will recognize its ratification and finally enshrine women’s equality in the Constitution.”

When Congress first passed the ERA in 1972, it required three-fourths of the states to ratify the amendment within seven years. In 1978, Congress extended the time limit by an additional three years after the ERA fell short of the required 38 states for adoption. The ERA Now resolution utilizes a novel legal theory that would make the time limit clause in the preamble of the ERA nonbinding. The ERA Now resolution would firmly settle remaining constitutional questions regarding the ERA’s ratification, affirm that the ERA has already met the requirements needed to amend the Constitution (passage by more than two-thirds of Congress and ratification by three-quarters of the states), and instruct the Archivist to proceed with publishing and certifying it.

The ERA would enshrine gender equality as a constitutional right. Its main clause states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” This amendment is crucial to eliminating discrimination on the basis of sex across our country. Its finalization in the U.S. Constitution would usher in new and necessary protections for all people, including women who are being denied full reproductive freedom.

Kaine has long advocated for the ratification of the ERA. Earlier this year, Kaine urged his Senate colleagues to vote to remove the time limit for ratification of the ERA. Kaine has introduced a resolution to remove the ratification deadline. Kaine recently joined the Virginia Chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW) to kick off an East Coast ERA Bus Tour to Seneca Falls, N.Y. and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ERA.

This resolution has the endorsements of nearly 300 organizations nationwide, including Advocates for Youth, Asian American Women’s Political Initiative, Catholics for Choice, End Rape on Campus, ERA Coalition, Feminist Front, Gen-Z for Change, GLSEN, In Our Own Voice: Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, Justice Revival, March for Our Lives, Muslims for Progressive Values, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Council of Jewish Women, National Organization for Women, PROMO Missouri, SIECUS, Sojourners, Sunrise Movement, Supermajority, the TransLatin@ Coalition, Shattering Glass and the National ERA Publication Task Force.

A copy of this resolution can be found here. A one-pager on the legislation can be found here.