WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and seven colleagues today introduced a resolution affirming Congress has no authority to declare the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratified as part of the U.S. Constitution. The resolution comes in response to Democrats’ efforts to add the ERA to the Constitution by removing the ratification deadline set by Congress more than 50 years ago. If enacted, the ERA would potentially increase abortion access across the country, threaten religious liberties, and weaken protections for biological women.
“Nobody should be allowed a backdoor way to amend the Constitution,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This resolution ensures Democrats do not set a dangerous precedent by creating an illegal workaround to the amendment process laid out in the Constitution.”
“The law and the facts outlined in this resolution are clear. Congress has no authority to go back in time to revive a failed constitutional amendment, which makes the current push to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment wrong on its face,” said Hyde-Smith. “Beyond the illegitimacy of trying to resurrect the ERA, we cannot ignore the very serious effects adding the ERA to our Constitution today would have on abortion, religious liberty, protections for women, and more.”
Cassidy and Hyde-Smith were joined by U.S. Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) in cosponsoring the resolution.
The six-page resolution recognizes that:
- Under Article V of the Constitution, the legitimate constitutional role of Congress in the constitutional amendment process for the ERA ended when Congress proposed and submitted the amendment to the states on March 22, 1972.
- The ERA expired when its ratification deadline passed with fewer than three-fourths of the states ratifying.
- Congress has no power to modify a resolution proposing a constitutional amendment after the amendment has been submitted to the states, or after the amendment has expired.
- The only legitimate way for the ERA to become part of the Constitution is provided in Article V of the Constitution and requires the reintroduction of the same or modified language addressing the same subject, through approval of a new joint resolution by the required two-thirds votes in each house of Congress.
The resolution reviews federal judicial findings that shoot down notions that Congress can eliminate the ratification deadline for the ERA, which fell short of the 38 state ratifications necessary for adoption under Article V of the Constitution. Only 35 states ratified the ERA before its seven-year deadline, and four of those states subsequently voted to rescind their ratifications of the ERA.
Concerned Women for America (CWFA), the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), Heritage Action, and Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America support the Senate resolution.