Judge rules states waited too long to enact equal rights for women: report
Judge with Gavel (Shutterstock)

The United States Supreme Court is likely to settle a dispute over equal rights for women in America after a new court ruling.

"A federal district court judge ruled late Friday that recent state votes to ratify the proposed Equal Rights Amendment came too late to make it part of the Constitution. The ruling was a defeat for ERA supporters and the three states that asked the judge to declare that the amendment became formally adopted after Virginia last year became the 38th state to ratify it," NBC News reported Friday.

"Along with Illinois and Nevada, Virginia argued that the Constitution does not give Congress any power to set a time limit on the ratification process. They also argued that the deadline had no force of law, since it was placed only in the amendment's proposing clause, not in the actual text that the states voted on," NBC reported. "But Judge Rudolph Contreras of the federal district court in Washington, D.C., said the vote 'came after both the original and extended deadlines that Congress attached to the ERA.'"

The states are expected to appeal the ruling.

The Amendment says "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or a abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex."