Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Justice Ginsburg: ERA Ratification Process Would Need to ‘Start Over Again’

As I’ve explained, notwithstanding clamor over the prospect that some state will supposedly become the decisive 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, there is a very strong argument that the deadline for ratifying the ERA expired decades ago. Even supporters of the ERA recognized that they needed to start over after the (dubiously extended) June 1982 deadline passed. And by dismissing as moot in October 1982 a case challenging the validity of that deadline extension, the Supreme Court clearly signaled its own judgment that ratification of the ERA had failed.

Given all this, it’s not surprising that Justice Ginsburg also clearly recognizes that the ratification process for the ERA proposed in 1972 has failed. In remarks yesterday at Georgetown law school (reported by the National Law Journal), Ginsburg, in reiterating her support for an Equal Rights Amendment, stated:

I was a proponent of the equal rights amendment. I hope someday it will be put back in the political hopper and we’ll be starting over again collecting the necessary states to ratify it. [Emphasis added.]

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