SAT Subject US History Practice Question 758: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 758

19. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was defeated because

A. Congress would not pass it.
B. it was held to be unconstitutional.
C. not enough state legislatures passed it.
D. Betty Friedan opposed it.
E. Richard Nixon vetoed it.

Correct Answer: C


Only 35 state legislatures passed the ERA. To achieve passage, the amendment needed the approval of 38 state legislatures, because 38 represents the required three-fourths of the 50 states. Congress (A) passed the amendment by the required two-thirds majority of each house. If it had passed, it would have become part of the Constitution and could not be declared unconstitutional (B). Betty Friedan (D), a women's rights advocate, was in favor of the amendment. Presidents don't sign or veto constitutional amendments (E).

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