“Didn’t the ratification deadline pass?”

  • Both Nevada (March 22, 2017) and Illinois (May 30, 2018) have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, exercising a state’s right to ratify under Article V of the Constitution. After Nevada ratified a white paper was produced for Congress exploring whether or not the deadline precluded the Equal Rights Amendment from being added to the Constitution (spoiler alert: it can be added).
  • The United States Constitution does not give Congress authority to limit States’ power to ratify amendments, which would include setting a deadline. Additionally, there is no court precedent of a deadline keeping a fully ratified amendment from being added to the Constitution.
  • On May 11, 2018 Attorney General Mark Herring weighed in on this issue with a formal opinion addressed to Virginia Senator Black (R – Loudon).

“It is my opinion that the lapse of the ERA’s original and extended ratification periods has not disempowered the General Assembly from passing a ratifying resolution.”
– Attorney General Mark Herring, May 11, 2018

  • The Virginia legislature should enact laws reflecting the will of the citizens and not seek to divine the intention or direction of U.S. Congress (who could change the deadline again or remove it altogether) or the Supreme Court.