Democrats, buoyed by their party’s electoral sweep in Virginia this week, plan on Friday to revive the Equal Rights Amendment in Congress, embarking on what they hope is a final push to add the nearly century-old measure to enshrine equality of the sexes into the Constitution.
Representative Jerrold Nadler, the New York Democrat who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, will announce that his panel intends to mark up a bill eliminating the deadline for states to adopt the amendment, known as the E.R.A., which was one state short of the 38 needed for ratification when the deadline passed in 1982.
The aim is to clear the way for Virginia — where Democrats have just won control of the Legislature and are eager to approve the amendment — to become that final state. Although legal experts debate whether Congress’s deadline was ever constitutionally valid, and whether it can now remove that deadline, doing so would seem to help carve a legal path for the amendment to be written into the Constitution. But both the House and the Republican-led Senate would have to vote to do so.