U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) will join with Hollywood star power and congressional colleagues Tuesday to call for passage of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Supporters of the amendment will gather on Capitol Hill for the first hearing on the measure in 36 years, lawmakers said.
Cardin, along with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), introduced Senate Resolution 6, which would remove a ratification deadline and revive consideration of the ERA, which is just one state short of meeting the three-fourths threshold for ratification.
The lawmakers say a lapsed deadline imposed by Congress was “arbitrary” and that Article V of the Constitution contains no time limits for ratification of amendments.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), sponsor of the House version of the resolution, held a “shadow hearing” on the issue last year.
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties will hold an official hearing Tuesday morning.
Among those expected to testify and hold a news conference in the afternoon are Patricia Arquette and Alyssa Milano, actresses and activists; Cardin; Maloney; Chair of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), chair of the subcommittee. Representatives from the National Organization for Women, ERA Coalition, National Women’s Law Center, Feminist Majority Foundation, and more are also expected to continue the call for ratification of the ERA.
Thirty-seven states, of the 38 needed, have ratified the amendment, which was first proposed in 1972. Illinois was the last state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in May 2018. Nevada ratified the amendment in March 2017. The remaining states that have not voted for ratification are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.
Maryland lawmakers ratified the measure in May 1972. The state also added an equal rights provision to the Maryland Constitution that year.