VA, IL, NV Sue over ERA!

From left to right:

Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring, Nevada Solicitor General Heidi Parry Stern, CEO/Co-President of the ERA Coalition and The Fund for Women’s Equality Carol Jenkins, 
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul 

Big developments today in Washington, DC.! Some highlights: 

The final three states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, Virginia, #38, Illinois, #37 and Nevada, #36, filed suit today against Archivist David Ferriero, demanding he certify the ratification of the amendment. Here is their statement:

*ADVISORY*

VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING TO ANNOUNCE LANDMARK CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION ON EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT

Thursday, January 30

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday morning, Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring will announce landmark civil rights litigation on the Equal Rights Amendment. He will be joined by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, who are partnering with Attorney General Herring on the litigation. 

And a link to their complaint, filed today in DC District Court. 

You can read Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s statement here, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s statement here, and Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford’s statement here.

The ERA Coalition issued its own statement:

For immediate release

(January 30, 2020) Washington, DC –

Washington, DC –The ERA Coalition and Fund for Women’s Equality welcomes the legal action of Attorney General Mark Herring of Virginia, Attorney General Kwame Raoul of Illinois and Attorney General Aaron Ford of Nevada to support constitutional equality for women. The legislators and advocates in these three states have brought us to this historic moment in time. In Nevada, State Senator Pat Spearman, in Illinois, current Lt Governor Julianna Stratton and former Representative Steven Andersson, in Virginia legislators like Senator Jennifer McClellan and Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy—these names will be remembered with others as leaders who refused to take no for an answer, and brought us to this day when three fourths of the states have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment as required by the Constitution, a glorious day for women across America.

It is time for equality. We have waited too long already for equal rights, and it is shameful that there are those who would have us wait a moment longer. We have been on the ERA journey for almost a century. Alice Paul’s idea to prohibit discrimination based on sex was a good idea in 1923 when it was first introduced in Congress. It was a good idea when it was passed by Congress in 1972. And it was still a good idea when it was ratified by Nevada in 2017, Illinois in 2018 and Virginia, the 38th state, on Monday January 27, 2020. The ERA is as American as apple pie, and ERA Coalition polling indicates says that 94 percent of Americans – and 99% of millennials – agree that the Constitution should be amended to include equal rights for women.

Over the years we have made some progress, and we have built a strong women’s movement, as evidenced most recently by the #MeToo outcry, a wave of protest that highlights the fact that women are still second-class citizens in this country. It is time to put these days behind us, 100 years – a full century – after women got the right to vote.  We need the ERA because 80 per cent of our poor are women, trying to house and feed children; women are still woefully behind in pay and promotion, and inequality is a life or death issue on a daily basis as women in the home and workplace continue to fear sexual and physical assault with no recourse to federal courts because without the ERA there is no basis for such jurisdiction. 

Women were intentionally omitted from the Constitution when it was written, despite the fervent plea of Abigail Adams for our inclusion. Generation after generation of grandmothers, mothers, daughters, granddaughters have dreamed of fixing this shameful omission. That is what the ERA does for us, and we welcome this 28th Amendment to the Constitution. We are determined to see it through and we will never give up on an equal future.

For more information about the Equal Rights Amendment and ERA Coalition, please visit our website.

ABOUT THE ERA COALITION:

The ERA Coalition was founded in 2014 to bring concerted, organized action to the effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA Coalition has a sister organization, the Fund for Women’s Equality, which promotes public education and outreach on the need for constitutional equality. Comprised of nearly one hundred organizations across the country, the Coalition provides education and advocacy on Constitutional Equality. The ERA Coalition’s groundbreaking research indicates that more than 94% of all Americans want an Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA Coalition has offices in New York City and Washington, DC.

Press Contact: Marianne Stack 804-405-1678  mstack@eracoalition.org

And I joined the Attorney Generals of Virginia, Mark Herring, Illinois, Kwame  and Nevada Solicitor General Heidi Parry Stern in stressing the need for the ERA. Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford joined by phone.

The video of the news conference can be watched on the ERA Coalition Facebook page here.

I was also quoted today in ABC NewsCourthouse NewsCapitol Fax.

And so the fight for equality goes on. We will have more soon.

In solidarity and Onward!

Carol Jenkins
Co-President and CEO
ERA Coalition