Nevada to Make History As First State in 3.5 Decades to Ratify the ERA

On March 22, 1972, the United States Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), sending it to the states for ratification, which would be amended in the Constitution should 38 states ratify it by June 30, 1982.

By the deadline, however, only 35 states had ratified the ERA. Now, Nevada (one of the 15 states yet to ratify the ERA) is about to become the first state to ratify the amendment for three and a half decades — making it the 36th U.S. state to do so (just two short of the necessary 38).

Of the other states left to ratify are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

Sadly, according to the Washington Post, "Even if Nevada becomes the 36th state to ratify the amendment, its entry into the Constitution is a loooong shot," since the deadline was so long ago. In fact, even if Congress were to reopen the idea, "It's not clear any other state is seriously interested in playing along."

The good news? "Women are getting involved politically in a way the nation hasn't seen since the feminism movement of the '60s and '70s," so the possibility for change is not impossible as women continue to be bold in pursuit of full constitutional equality.

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Photo Credit: Martha Cooper/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images