Why Congress Won’t Bring the Equal Rights Amendment Back from the Dead

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A demonstrator holds a sign during the Third Annual Women’s March at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., January 19, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

The deadline expired four decades ago, and Congress doesn’t have the votes to send a new amendment to the states for ratification.

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S
hortly before Congress skipped town for its spring break, Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski spoke at a briefing sponsored by advocates of the Equal Rights Amendment. “For those staff who are on this briefing, your mission is to go out and talk to your bosses,” Murkowski said. “If your boss is a man, ask him if he wants his wife, his daughters, his mother to be protected by the Constitution.”

The Equal Rights Amendment, which Congress sent to the states for ratification in 1972, states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States …

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