To recognize Women's History Month, the Centennial Anniversary of the Washington D.C. Women's Suffrage and International Women's Day on 3/15/2013 New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez reintroduced the E.R.A. and legislation to posthumously award its original author, Alice Paul, with a Congressional Gold Medal. After Congressional passage in 1972, 35 states ratified the ERA, falling just three states short of the 38 necessary for ratification. Senator Ben Cardin (D/DE) has announced plans to introduce a bill revitalizing the 3-State Strategy to expedite passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA guarantees that equal rights of men and women by: Ensuring that government programs and federal resources benefit men and women equally; Guaranteeing equal footing for women in the legal systems of all 50 states; and by clarifying the legal status of sex discrimination before the courts, by making sex a suspect category subject to strict judicial scrutiny, just as race, religion and national origin currently are.