St. Louis Park resident Suzann Willhite joined advocates of the Equal Rights Amendment in traveling to Virginia to rally for the measure’s ratification.

The state’s two chambers of the General Assembly each approved the Equal Rights Amendment Jan. 15. After each body formally approves the other’s identical bills, Virginia will be the 38th state to ratify the amendment. The number is significant because the Constitution requires three-quarters of the states to ratify amendments. However, Congress had set a 1982 deadline for ratification, leading to an impending legal battle over the amendment. Lawsuits have been filed in federal courts regarding whether the deadline is valid. Additionally, bills in Congress would extend the deadline. Complicating the matter is the fact that five legislatures voted to rescind their ratifications, although ERA advocates say that the Constitution does not provide for states to rescind ratification.

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