Justice Department: Too late to pass Equal Rights Amendment

This Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, photo, Equal Rights Amendment supporters Donnie Davis, left, and Jeanne Mackenzie, join others during a rally at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(AP) - Efforts to revive the Equal Rights Amendment have hit a roadblock. The Justice Department has issued a finding that an expired pair of deadlines imposed by Congress decades ago means it’s too late for more states to ratify it now.

Thirty-five states ratified the ERA before the deadlines expired — three short of the 38 needed.

Virginia is poised to become the 38th, but Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel said the amendment has expired and Congress would have to start all over again.

Supporters of the amendment disagree and have filed a federal lawsuit in Massachusetts hoping to pave a legal path.

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