On January 15, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
The ERA, originally passed in 1972, was an attempt to enshrine in the U.S. Constitution the idea that all American citizens regardless of gender have equal rights “in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters.” It should have been an uncontroversial concept—but by its 1982 deadline, only 35 of the 38 states necessary had ratified the ERA.
Since then, the ERA has existed in suspended animation: not dead, but in need of CPR.
In our present political climate, the Act appears unlikely to receive the resuscitation it needs. With the extended ratification deadline long past, the House of…