Recently the Virginia State House and the Virginia State Senate took formal action to ratify the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. By doing this, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify this amendment. In order to become part of the constitution, the proposed amendment must be ratified by 38 state legislatures or by 38 state ratifying conventions.
Unfortunately, we have a potential legal problem. When Congress sent the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the states for ratification, Congress set a seven-year time limit for ratification by the states. Thirty-five states ratified the Equal Rights Amendment within the seven-year time limit. Three states did not. One of these states was Virginia. These three states’ ratification are now in question.
How can we overcome this problem? There are two ways. The first way is through the federal court system. The second way is for Congress to pass and have the president sign a special law which would remove the seven-year time limit from the language of the Equal Rights Amendment. By doing this, the ratifications of the 36th, 37th and 38th states would now become legal and binding.
The time has come for Equal Rights Amendment to become part of our Constitution.
Robert H. Wright Jr.