Murkowski Expresses Disappointment over Failed Resolution to Remove Deadline to Ratify the ERA

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today released the following statement after S.J.Res. 4, a bicameral, joint resolution to affirm the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), failed to pass the U.S. Senate. The resolution would have removed the arbitrary deadline for ratification of the ERA. It would also have recognized the amendment as a valid part of the Constitution, with the 38-state threshold needed for ratification of the ERA having been met.

“I am disappointed that our resolution to remove the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment did not advance the Senate. This is the third Congress I have co-led a resolution with my colleague, Senator Cardin from Maryland, to remove the deadline for ratification of the ERA by the states – a step that is far, far overdue,” said Senator Murkowski. “Men and women should be treated equally under the law, and there should be no time limit on equality. It is far past time for Congress to act. To the many advocates who’ve worked alongside us in this effort – know that I will not give up this effort.”

Today, Senator Murkowski spoke on the U.S. Senate floor in support of their resolution.

era speech

Watch Senator Murkowski’s floor speech here.

Floor Speech Excerpts:

  • “It’s pretty simple. ‘Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.’… That’s it. That’s the full substance of the Equal Rights Amendment.”
  • “As we stand here today, 38 states have ratified the ERA. That meets the threshold of the three-quarters of states needed to ratify a Constitutional amendment. But that can’t happen, because of a technicality, because the preamble of the ERA contains an outdated deadline for ratification. That’s where our resolution comes in.”
  • “Some suggest that the ERA is no longer needed. We’ve certainly made great strides as women since 1923, but there is a lot more that needs to be done.”
  • “Women are a majority of the U.S. population, but continue to be underrepresented in elected office, the courts, the business world, and in so many other areas.” 
  • “The ERA is also needed to help address violence against women. Statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, for example, show that one in seven women, compared to one in 25 men, have been injured by an intimate partner.”
  • “The fact is, the vast majority of Americans support the ERA—73-percent according to one poll from 2020, 78 percent according to another, and 85 percent according to a poll from last year, including 93 percent of Democrats, 93 percent of independents, and 79 percent of Republicans.  At least half of the states have Constitutions that guarantee equal rights based on sex in some way.
  • “I’m proud that Alaska ratified the ERA in 1972, and a few months later, by an overwhelming vote, amended our constitution to prohibit sex discrimination.”

In January, Senator Murkowski reintroduced S.J.Res.4 alongside U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD). A companion resolution, H.J.Res. 4, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Cori Bush (MO-1), Madeleine Dean (PA-4) and Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37).