On Monday, January 3rd, Attorneys General Mark Herring of Virginia, Klane Raoul of Illinois, and Aaron Ford of Nevada filed their legal brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Of Columbia Circuit demanding the federal District Court decision to deny the states standing be reversed and that the ratification of Equal Rights Amendment by their states be recognized.
“The ERA has been properly ratified by the states and any attempt to prevent its inclusion in the Constitution is without basis in law,” said Attorney General Herring. “The Equal Rights Amendment will finally ensure true equality in our nation’s foundational document and correct an injustice of historic proportions. For more than two centuries women have fought for recognition of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities that should be guaranteed to each of us by the Constitution. This unlawful and unexplainable obstruction must end, and the ERA must be certified, published, and made a full part of our constitution.“
“The Equal Rights Amendment must be included in our nation’s Constitution – all legal prerequisites have been filled,” said Attorney General Ford. “It is time for this decades-long fight to come to an end and for the Constitution to formally and legally protect the rights of women. Thirty-eight states have ratified this amendment, and now it falls to our colleague states and us to continue the fight. We will not stop, and we will not give up the fight women trailblazers started so long ago.”
“As our fight to ensure the Equal Rights Amendment is recognized as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution officially enters a new year, I am struck that Congress first considered an equal rights amendment nearly 100 years ago,” Attorney General Raoul said. “One hundred years is far too long to wait for equality under the law, and I am hopeful 2022 will be the year that equal treatment for all Americans is enshrined and acknowledged as part of our nation’s Constitution.”
“We are grateful to the Attorneys General for driving this litigation forward. The ERA has met all the constitutional requirements for an amendment, and the Archivist has a duty to publish it, providing official notice to all 50 States that the ERA is now the Twenty-Eighth Amendment to the Constitution,” Carol Jenkins, President and CEO of the ERA Coalition said. “There can be no time limit on equality.”
“We are so close to final recognition of the Equal Rights Amendment. The Trump Administration Office of Legal Counsel memo of 2020 that was written before the ERA was ratified by Virginia (the 38th state) and the Constitutional requirement of 3/4ths of the state legislatures ratifying the amendment was met, must be withdrawn. January 27th, 2022 is the second anniversary of Virginia’s ratification. Technically the ERA goes into effect two years after 38 states ratify it. 2022 must be the year that the ERA becomes the 28th amendment,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, who has been fighting for ratification of the ERA for over 50 years. The Feminist Majority Foundation is a lead organization in the ERA Coalition.