The effort to reignite the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment hit a large bump in the road as a federal judge ruled that the bill has passed the deadline for inclusion in the Constitution, NBC News reports.
Originally passed in 1972, the ERA made it through Congress with overwhelming support, but when it came to getting the required 38 states to ratify the amendment, only 35 states passed the bill by the stated deadline of passage, March 1979. Four states ultimately rescinded their endorsement of the ERA.
However, since 1979, Nevada, Illinois and Virginia have passed the bill. When Virginia passed the ERA in 2020, giving the amendment the required 38 states, hopes rose that the ERA could be ratified into the Constitution even though it was years passed the established deadline.
Judge Rudolph Contreras, an Obama appointee who is the federal district judge for the District of Columbia, ruled that the timeframe for ratification had expired. A new bill would have to be passed by Congress and go through the state ratification process again.