ERA Coalition Statement In Response to Department of Justice Brief in Case Seeking to Force Publication of Equal Rights Amendment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2022

Contact: cwest@eracoalition

Washington, DC –– On Friday evening, the Department of Justice filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the case by the states of Illinois and Nevada seeking to force U.S. Archivist David S. Ferriero to publish the Equal Rights Amendment as part of the Constitution. The brief asks the D.C. Circuit to affirm the dismissal of the case “without resolving the ERA’s legal status.”

Importantly, the brief does not embrace the district court’s conclusion that the time limit stands in the way of the ERA. Instead, it recognizes that the questions of the ERA’s validity are important, profound, and novel. The brief argues that the dismissal should be affirmed on the grounds that the plaintiffs lack standing and have fallen short of the requirement to show a “clear and undisputable” entitlement to government action. 

The brief also repeats President Biden’s statement “expressing his ‘support for the ERA loudly and clearly’” and declaring that “nothing prevents Congress from taking legislative action to ‘recogniz[e] ratification of the ERA.’” 

In response, ERA Coalition / Fund for Women’s Equality President and CEO Carol Jenkins released the following statement:

“We continue to believe that the ERA has met all the constitutional requirements for an amendment, making it both valid and enforceable today. We remain optimistic the Court will agree and require the Archivist to publish it. While we’re disappointed with the Department of Justice’s position in this case, we agree on one critical point: Congress has the power to act. Alongside President Biden, we urge Congress to remove the arbitrary time limit and eliminate any doubt that the ERA is now the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.”

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul released the following statement:

“Our fight to ensure the Equal Rights Amendment is recognized as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution has officially entered another year, and I am struck that Congress first considered an equal rights amendment nearly 100 years ago. The effort behind this amendment has spanned generations of advocates, speaking out for justice over the course of a century. Equal rights should not be contingent upon a person’s gender or sex, and 100 years is far too long to wait to ensure women across the country have the constitutional equality to which they are entitled. I remain hopeful that 2022 will be the year that equal treatment for all Americans is acknowledged as part of our nation’s Constitution.”

Nevada Attorney General Ford released the following statement:

“As we enter another year in the fight to enshrine the Equal Rights Amendment into our nation’s Constitution, I want to reiterate that our country must formally recognize the human rights that have always been endowed to women. Every legal prerequisite has been filled for the enshrinement of the ERA in our Constitution, and it is time to end this decades-long struggle. I and my colleague states will not stop until we help to finish the fight first started by women trailblazers much too long ago.”  

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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 250 organizations across the country, the Coalition provides education and advocacy on Constitutional Equality. 

While the effort to amend the constitution to include sex equality began nearly a century ago, our renewed efforts are centered on Black, Indigenous and Women of Color, gender-nonconforming and transgender women and girls, and nonbinary people– those who are most impacted by systemic inequities.

www.eracoalition.org | www.fundforwomensequality.org 

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