In a vote a long time in the making (and still not a final win), the Virginia House and Senate both voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The votes in both chambers were bipartisan, with three Republicans in the state House and seven in the state Senate joining Democrats.
“For the women of Virginia and the women of America, the resolution has finally passed,” said Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, the first woman to be speaker of Virginia’s House.
Virginia lawmakers have one more step to ratify the amendment, with the House having to vote on the Senate’s version and the Senate having to vote on the House’s—but since both are identical, that should be a formality. A bigger hurdle will be getting Virginia counted as the 38th state needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment for inclusion in the Constitution.
Congress originally set a deadline of 1979—extended to 1982—for 38 states to ratify the ERA. Some states have since rescinded their original ratification, and there will be one legal battle over whether they should be counted, while another legal battle will be waged over whether the states that have ratified since can be counted and the amendment can move forward. The Trump Justice Department recently said the amendment can no longer be ratified—but that will be fought out in court, as well.
In short, Virginia is providing us with a major symbolic win, but the fight will continue.