Article Title

Congress and the ERA


Equal rights amendments -- United States, Women's rights -- United States, Sex discrimination against women -- Law and legislation


The Equal Rights Amendment was a constitutional amendment that guaranteed that the "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." In this paper I will analyze the policy process in the critical years from the ERA's discharge from committee in 1970 to its passage through Congress in 1972 through both primary documents and scholarly opinion. By thoroughly examining the controversy over the ERA through the views and strategies of those advocating and opposing it, I will show how the momentum for social change characterized by the ERA is reflected in the governing institution of the United States, and furthermore I will illustrate how the process of amending the Constitution is used to advance or retract social agendas.



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