28th Amendment (Equal Rights)
Breaking News, Wednesday, March 17th: The House of Representatives passed HJ Res 17 to remove the deadline on the Equal Rights Amendment.
America has never been closer to constitutional gender equality than we are today!
With equality oriented leadership in both the House and Senate advocates hope for a quick and easy recognition of our 28th Amendment. Timeline of actions on the Equal Rights Amendment during the 117th Congress:
- On January 21, 2021 Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) signaled the Senate's priority of constitutional gender equality with the number of their legislation: Senate Joint Resolution 1 (Sen. Cardin's press release is here).
- You may notice a small number of legislators signing onto this resolution. As of right now Senators Cardin and Murkowski are deploying a "Noah's Ark" strategy -- Democrats / Independents can only sign on with a Republican.
- On January 21, 2021 Representatives Jackie Speier (D-CA 14) and Tom Reed (R-NY 23) submitted their resolution in the House of Representatives: House Joint Resolution 17 (Rep. Speier's press release is here).
- On January 22, 2021 Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY ) sent a letter to the Biden Administration asking them to remove the OLC memo and ensure the 28th Amendment is certified and published (Rep. Maloney's press release is here).
- On March 17th the House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 17 to remove the deadline on the Equal Rights Amendment (see vote tally here). Because Rep. Speier's identical resolution was passed in the 116th Congress, it was eligible for a floor vote without a committee hearing.
Although the formal publication* of the 28th Amendment in our Constitution can occur independently from congressional recognition, recognition by the 117th Congress is considered an important action because of the inevitable Supreme Court challenge by equality opponents (the case most likely to be considered is Virginia v Ferriero and we track the major court filings on this FAQ page).
In our opinion if the amendment is recognized by the 117th Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court will defer to congress' authority as outlined in Article V and allow the 28th Amendment to be added / remain in the Constitution. So NOW is the time for all equality lovers to take action. Help us pump up the volume by joining a call to action!
Call to action: Write4Rights
(Senate strategy outlined below)
*Publication of the 28th Amendment will occur by the National Archivist who is, essentially, a librarian for the nation and responsible for certifying and publishing all amendments to the Constitution.
We will focus upon the U.S. Senate because of the existing gap between the number of supportive Senators (~52 Senators) and the 60 Senators required to override a filibuster.
Current support: The resolution to recognize the 28th Amendment is supported by all 48 Democrats, both Independents, and two Republicans. Republican Senators Murkowski (R-AK) and Collins (R-ME) are co-sponsors of the resolution to recognize the 28th Amendment.
Filibuster: In the U.S. Senate, there is a long-standing tradition of the filibuster, where a bill / resolution can be prevented from coming to the floor for a vote indefinitely by a single Senator. It takes 60 Senators supporting legislation moving to the floor to overcome a filibuster. Note, 60 Senators do not have to support the legislation itself, just the legislation moving to the floor for a vote.
Removal of the Filibuster: The U.S. Senate could remove the filibuster. The Brookings Institute has a good overview of that possibility (click here). However, we do not suggest anyone count on this. It is more likely that the Democrats will just make it harder to filibuster. Regardless, VoteEquality will work to generate additional support from Republicans.
Support Required: We need additional support from ~8 Republican Senators in the 117th Congress to break a filibuster. Ideally far more Senators will support constitutional gender equality. To that end we encourage Americans to make contact friends and family all around the country to educate and request Senate outreach.