May 31, 2018

The Illinois House voted 72-45 on Wednesday night to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, a constitutional amendment banning discrimination based on sex that was drafted in 1923, passed by Congress in 1972, and is now just one state shy of the 38 needed to add the ERA to the U.S. Constitution — maybe. Illinois has definitely ratified the amendment — the Senate approved it in April and Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) doesn't need to sign it — but Congress set a 1979 deadline for 38 states to ratify the ERA, then extended the deadline to 1982, and only 35 states had approved it by that point. Nevada ratified it in 2017.

Still, Congress could extend the deadline again, especially if one more state ratifies the ERA, and some supporters say another extension isn't necessary, given that Congress ratified the 1789 "Madison Amendment" in 1992. Complicating matters, five states have claimed they withdrew their backing, which they might not be able to do. The 13 states that have not ratified the ERA are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

It's unclear whether "there's an obvious right or wrong answer" to the ERA's viability as a constitutional amendment, University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone told the Chicago Tribune. It would "lock in" many of the rights women have won since the mid-1900s, but "the main reason for adopting the Equal Rights Amendment today if one could legally, constitutionally do it would be the symbolic importance of it," he added. "The rejection of it is in some ways insulting. So, the symbolic importance of it is to who we are as a nation — what our aspirations are, what our values are. That in itself is an important affirmation of who we are." Peter Weber

2:30 p.m.

Mort Drucker, the beloved artist known for his work at MAD magazine, has died at 91.

Drucker died Wednesday at his home in New York, his friend John Reiner confirmed to The New York Times. Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper his death was not thought to be related to COVID-19.

After joining MAD in 1956, Drucker's hilarious caricatures satirizing pop culture soon became iconic, and he illustrated more than half of the magazine's movie parodies from the 1960s through 2008, per the Times. In a 2000 interview with the Times, he noted, "I think I've drawn almost everyone in Hollywood."

Among Drucker's other notable work includes the poster for George Lucas' American Graffiti; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lucas personally drove to Drucker's home on Long Island to convince him to draw it.

"The World has lost a not just an extraordinary talent but a shining example of kindness, humility and humor," the National Cartoonists Society said in a statement.

MAD fans on Thursday quickly began sharing their favorite cartoons from Drucker's legendary career, including his parodies of Jaws and Star Wars. "Many of his illustrations are as vivid in my mind as the movies and TV shows that inspired them," The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff wrote.

Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper that Drucker's final words to him were, "I'm the luckiest man — I've had a wonderful life." Brendan Morrow

2:11 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump is officially donning a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic, although the jury's still out on whether her husband will follow suit.

In a social media post Thursday, the first lady shared a photo of herself wearing what appears to be a surgical mask, touting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation "to wear cloth face coverings."

"Remember, this does NOT replace the importance of social distancing," she wrote. "It is recommended to keep us all safe."

Melania's masking comes one week after President Trump announced he would not be wearing a mask, despite the CDC-issued guidelines urging people to do so. At the time, Trump implied that it would be odd to be "sitting in the Oval Office, behind that beautiful Resolute Desk" while wearing a mask, so it's unclear how he's taking this news.

The photo of the first lady appears to show her wearing a surgical mask rather than the CDC-recommended "cloth face covering," the former of which is recommended only for use by health care professionals and medical first responders amid critical supply shortages.