Maloney, Reed Introduce Equal Rights Amendment

Mar 1, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, on the first day of Women’s History Month, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) was joined by lead cosponsor Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) in announcing the introduction of H.J. Res. 28, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

 

H.J. Res. 28 would restart the amendment ratification process once passed by the House and Senate. The resolution number celebrates that the ERA would be the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Representatives Maloney and Reed are also cosponsors of H.J. Res. 17, sponsored by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), to remove the arbitrary deadline placed on the original ERA ratification process. 

 

“It is long past time to cement gender equality in our nation’s most important text, the Constitution, once and for all. With the ERA, we secure equality under the law for women and all marginalized genders. While the last four years have shown us that we may not be able to control who is on the Supreme Court, in the White House, or in charge of Congress and local government, we can control the document they interpret and the legal parameters under which they operate,” said Congresswoman Maloney.

 

“For far too long, our nation has been unable to enshrine the God-given rights of equality for women in our Constitution. It is only fair that Congress do its part to clearly affirm the legal rights of all women and ensure no one is subject to discrimination or mistreatment because of their gender,” said Congressman Reed. “We remain committed to the principles and spirit of the Seneca Falls Convention and will continue to support the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment.”

 

“I’ve worked alongside Carolyn Maloney in the fight to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment for years and we have never been so close to victory in this historic battle,” said Rep. Speier, Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus. “Whether it’s my bill to simply strike the arbitrary deadline for 38 states to ratify the amendment—a goal that we reached last year thanks to the great state of Virginia—or Congresswoman Maloney’s push to reset the clock and start anew, I am confident that with the Biden-Harris Administration not just on our side, but fighting for the same goal, we will affirm women’s equality in our Constitution and under the eyes of the law.”

 

“We cannot tolerate living in a country where women have to work harder, longer and for less money just to get ahead.  We cannot stand by quietly while women are denied the American Dream and access to health care and education.  We cannot accept living in a nation where the rights of women continue to go unprotected,” said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, the lead Senate sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment.  “Our mothers and daughters deserve the same rights, opportunity and respect as our fathers and sons, and that is why the Equal Rights Amendment must be enshrined in our Constitution and the law of the land.”

 

“It is our distinct honor to support Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney's introduction of her Equal Rights Amendment, H.J. Res. 28. The ERA will be the 28th Amendment to the Constitution. Chair Maloney is a fearless champion for women's rights, persistently introducing her bill over a 14-year period. Her voice has given courage to women and men everywhere to continue the fight for equality. We are deeply thankful for her tremendous leadership,” said Carol Jenkins, President and CEO of the ERA Coalition.

 

“Thank you, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, for your tireless and effective leadership in the struggle for full equality. The Equal Rights Amendment has overwhelming public support and is needed to combat sex discrimination, achieve pay equity, reduce sexual assault and violence, and increase respect for all people,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority.

 

“Rep. Maloney’s resolution correctly identifies women as the ones who are disadvantaged by discrimination. It’s been 231 years since the U.S. Constitution was ratified when women were not considered full citizens. Even though it has taken far too long for women to gain equal standing through constitutional amendments and laws that uphold equality, there is progress. We are grateful for women’s rights leaders like Rep. Carolyn Maloney who persist in this effort,” said Christian F. Nunes, President, National Organization for Women.

 

“Our Constitution, when written, purposefully excluded the majority of Americans. Since then, updates have brought us closer to equality for all, but we still lack gender equality in our founding document. The residual impact of this historical exclusion has never been more clear than this past year. If we want to fully recover from this pandemic, we urgently need constitutional gender equality. All needs to mean all,” said Kati Hornung, Director, VoteEquality.

 

"Gen-Z has a demand for the 117th Congress: the law of the land shouldn’t be a boy’s only club– fix it. As the generation that will face the consequences of inaction, young people across the country are calling for the full equality of all women, transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming folx under our Constitution. We fully support Congresswoman Maloney’s efforts to see this through," said Rosie Couture (she/they), Generation Ratify Executive Director.

 

“It is encouraging to see the ERA emerge as a priority in the 117th Congress,” said Professor Katherine Franke, Faculty Director of the ERA Project at Columbia Law School. "The U.S. Constitution, the world’s oldest written constitution, is the only major written constitution in the world that lacks specific protections for sex-based equality. This is a national embarrassment that the ERA is designed to fix.”

 

Background

Congresswoman Maloney has been the lead cosponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment since the 105th Congress in 1997. 

 

On January 22, 2021, Congresswoman Maloney wrote to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris requesting that they act to immediately rescind a Trump Administration legal memo preventing the completion of the process to make the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

 

On June 6, 2018, Congresswoman Maloney and the ERA Coalition hosted a shadow hearing on the need for an Equal Rights Amendment after receiving no response to the Congresswoman’s request for a hearing from then-House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte. During that shadow hearing, then-House Judiciary Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler pledged to hold a hearing on the ERA if he became Chairman. Chair Nadler upheld that promise and held a hearing on the ERA on April 30, 2019, the first since 1984.

 

###