So far, 35 states have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, 3 short of the 38 necessary for full ratification.
But the future of the hotly debated ERA depends on two questions: whether the March 22, 1979 deadline - set by Congress for ratification by the states - can be extended, and whether the states that have already voted in favor of the amendment can constitutionally vote to rescind ratification.
Supporters of ERA urge a seven year extension of the deadline, and the question is currently being debated in the House Judiciary Committee.
Three states that once ratified ERA have since voted to rescind the amendment. They are Idaho, Nebraska and Tennessee. In another state, Kentucky, the legislature voted to rescind ratification, but the bill was vetoed by the acting government.
The Justice Department, in a non-binding advisory opinion, has said that states do not have the right to rescind approval once they have given it. But the issue would become more complicated if Congress votes to extend the ratification deadline. According to the Supreme Court, Congress has the right to determine if the ratifications constitute a "contemporaneous consensus," and ERA opponents say that the amendment lacks a consensus."
The 35 states that have ratified ERA are Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota. South Dakota, Kansas, Texas, Minesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan. Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut. Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Idaho, Nebraska, Tennessee. Alaska and Hawaii.
Fifteen states have not ratified the ERA. They are Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illnois, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.