Democratic Attorneys General Kwame Raoul of Illinois, Aaron Ford of Nevada, and Mark Herring of Virginia filed their notice of appeal yesterday to a recent lower court decision that dismissed their court case, Virginia, et al v Ferriero, from March. Ferriero could compel the Archivist to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution as ratified by the required 38 states.
“The United States cannot continue forcing women to wait to be recognized as equal under this country’s founding document,” said Virginia Attorney General Herring. “Throughout the years, efforts to have the Equal Rights Amendment added to the Constitution have been met with many impediments, but every single time this movement has overcome those hurdles and come out the other side stronger than ever. To those who have sent a clear message that they do not believe in women’s equality – it’s time that you move into the 21st century.
“I will continue this fight for as long as it takes to finally have the Equal Rights Amendment recognized as the 28th amendment and added to the Constitution. It has been a privilege to take up this mantle and stand alongside those who have dedicated their lives to ensuring women’s equality in this country and I won’t let up until we are successful,” said Herring in a statement.
“We want to thank Attorneys General Herring, Raoul, and Ford for their unwavering support for equality. They have been a force for the Equal Rights Amendment. As the Attorneys General pursue their case, we will continue to ask the U.S. Senate to bring SJ Res 1, removal of the time limit on the ERA, to a vote. And we will be insistent in our call for equal rights for all. 2021 is the year for equality,” said Carol Jenkins, President and CEO of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality.
“This appeal is an important step in the fight for recognition of the Equal Rights Amendment. It also maintains pressure on the Department of Justice to reassess the position it took on the ERA during the last Administration. The Archivist has held off on complying with his duty to publish the ERA because of a 2020 opinion by the Office of Legal Counsel. That opinion conflicts with a prior OLC opinion and waded into territory that should be left to Congress. It should be withdrawn immediately,” said Linda Coberly, chair of the ERA Coalition’s Legal Taskforce.
“It is unacceptable there is any discussion about whether equal rights for all are protected under the Constitution, especially since the Equal Rights Amendment has been ratified in accordance with the Constitution,” Raoul said. “It is past time that women across the country have the constitutional equality that they deserve and are entitled to, which is why I am committed to fighting to ensure that the Equal Rights Amendment is recognized as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution,” said Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.
“Our efforts to close the gap between gender equality in the Constitution have been met with many roadblocks, including those from the Trump Administration and Republican attorneys general, who have made it clear that they do not believe women should be guaranteed equal rights in this country,” said Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford. “How much longer should the women in this country wait to be afforded equal protection under this country’s founding documents?”
“Equality is and should be for both men and women. I, along Virginia AG Mark Herring and Illinois AG Kwame Raoul, will continue to fight for equal rights and will not stop until these rights are permanently written into our nation’s history. I welcome any support from both the Biden Administration and Congress in ensuring that this amendment is recognized as part of the Constitution once and for all,” AG Ford continued.