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The fight to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment has gained momentum in recent years. At this crucial moment, the Brennan Center for Justice has brought the best legal experts together to examine these renewed efforts.

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Why It Matters

Nearly a century after it was first intro­duced, and four decades after an unsuc­cess­ful rati­fic­a­tion campaign, the Equal Rights Amend­ment is making a comeback. In the last two years, state legis­latures voted to make Nevada and Illinois the 36th and 37th states to ratify the ERA, respect­ively, breath­ing new life into the fight to enshrine the prin­ciple of gender equal­ity in our Consti­tu­tion. While import­ant proced­ural ques­tions remain unre­solved, advoc­ates now believe that achiev­ing the neces­sary 38 states for national rati­fic­a­tion is possible.

Our experts have looked at the history of the ERA and considered its future prospects. We also organ­ized a symposium in 2018 featur­ing legal schol­ars, lawmakers, journ­al­ists, and activ­ists who examined the renewed push for rati­fic­a­tion of the ERA. Symposium parti­cipants explored what the failed 1972 campaign to pass the ERA — and the paral­lel rise of a gender equal­ity juris­pru­dence groun­ded in the Four­teenth Amend­ment — means for equal rights today; they also examined how a renewed campaign for the ERA can advance the cause of consti­tu­tional equal­ity in the 21st century.

Our Experts