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Nevada ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment ... 35 years after the deadline

Carrie Kaufman writes, "Nevada has ratified the Equal Rights Amendment — roughly 35 years after a deadline imposed by Congress.

On Wednesday, the state Senate approved the long-dormant ERA, which among other things guarantees that 'equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.' The senators passed a measure sent to them by the state Assembly, which had already approved it earlier this week.

It has been a long, twisty path for the ERA, which was first passed by Congress in 1972 and last approved by a state (Indiana) in 1977. The amendment teetered just three states short of the threshold necessary to see it adopted into law nationwide — a threshold it failed to achieve by the time Congress' deadline came and went.

But for ERA supporters such as Democratic state Sen. Pat Spearman, that deadline is little more than a paper tiger.

'It was in the resolving clause, but it wasn't a part of the amendment that was proposed by Congress,' she tells KNPR. 'That's why the time limit is irrelevant.'

After all, Spearman and others argue, Congress' original ratification deadline was 1979, and national lawmakers already bumped that forward to 1982 — so what's stopping them from bumping it forward again?"

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