ICYMI: ERA Advocates, like Iowa Caucus Democrats, Don’t Know How to Count

As the DNC Chair Tom Perez calls for a recanvass of the Iowa Caucus goes, advocates for the Equal Rights Amendment are even more “math confused.”  

As Wikipedia describes it(emphasis added): 

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is or was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. 

There should be no doubt, the life of the ERA has expired.  As National Review writes:

When Congress originally submitted the ERA to the states for ratification in 1972, it gave it a March 1979 deadline. Deadlines have been a common feature of amendments, one the Supreme Court unanimously declared permissible in 1921. The ERA didn’t get enough states to ratify it before that deadline. Congress then, by a simple majority, purported to extend the deadline for three years — an act declared unconstitutional by the only court to review it. (It takes a two-thirds supermajority, the kind the ERA got in 1972, to submit an amendment for ratification.) The ERA didn’t get ratified by the new, dubious deadline, either. At that point, in 1982, everyone — including the Supreme Court — acknowledged that the amendment was dead.

In recent years, however, three states have claimed to ratify it. Their legal claim is that the amendment was validly submitted to the states, but the deadline is invalid. The states that rescinded their ratifications, the argument maintains, also acted invalidly.

In an article entitled What Part of ‘Sell By’ Expiration Dates Do ERA Backers Not Understand? Tom Jipping describes the various dubious legal strategies to revive the dead ERA, and he that concludes these arguments are nothing but a waste of time.

Count on lawyers to make the simple complicated.

Until recently, everyone understood the obvious. The Congressional Research Service concluded long ago that the ERA “died on June 30, 1982.”

A new analysis from The Heritage Foundation also explains that when a ratification deadline passes “without ratification by three-fourths of the states, the proposed amendment expires and is no longer pending,” adding:

The 1972 ERA, therefore, can no longer be ratified, because it no longer exists.

Now Tom Jipping, Heritage and National Review are all conservatives, but their arguments cannot be dismissed on that basis.  For none other than liberal legal icon Ruth Bader Ginsberg agrees that the original ERA has expired:

In her remarks at Georgetown Law School last week, Justice Ginsburg reiterated her support for the Equal Rights Amendment, while making it clear — contra many of the amendment’s other supporters — that in order to be added to the Constitution, proponents would have to restart the ratification process.

 “I was a proponent of the equal rights amendment. I hope someday it will be put back in the political hopper and we’ll be starting over again collecting the necessary states to ratify it.”