For Immediate Release

December 20, 2019

Alabama Lawsuit Will Not Stop Drive for Equal Rights Amendment

STATEMENT OF ELEANOR SMEAL

PRESIDENT OF THE FEMINIST MAJORITY

 

The filing this week of a lawsuit in a federal district court in Alabama by Alabama, Louisiana, and South Dakota attorneys general is nothing more than political grandstanding.

A majority of incoming Virginia state senators and state house delegates are now pledged to ratify the ERA in early 2020. This would make the 38th and final state necessary to ratify the ERA.

The ERA coalitions in Arizona, North Carolina, and other unratified states are continuing their efforts to ratify, because they want their states to stand up for equality and end sex discrimination under the law. This lawsuit represents the views of a small minority who oppose the ERA. Over 80% of Virginians favor the ratification of the ERA, and numerous polls show supermajorities for the ERA in other states and nationwide.

The arbitrary timeline that the attorney generals want enforced is not binding. The timeline is in the preamble of the ERA, and not in the wording ratified by the states. Rescission of the ratification of a constitutional amendment by a state has never been allowed.

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