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Equal Rights Amendment to get another hearing in Congress, five decades later



There’s no time limit on granting equal rights for women. 

That’s what many citizens have been arguing since the 1970s and 1980s, when an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution stalled a few states short of being enacted. 

Congress is getting ready to debate whether the 1982 deadline for passage was valid, and whether states could be allowed to take back their approval. 

Joe Heim, retired UW-La Crosse political scientist, says the ERA seemed to frighten many people, who thought the amendment might lead to expansion of abortion, or the drafting of women.    

Some experts have argued that there is no legal time limit for ratifying an amendment, and that the ERA reached the 38-state minimum for passage last year, when Virginia approved it.     

Heim says more states have ratified the amendment, while others have reversed themselves, since a 10-year deadline expired.    


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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