May 21, 2021

EME Launches New Campaign: Attorney General Garland – How Much Longer Must Women Wait for Equality?

By Kamala, Natalie, Wendy, Thila and the EME team

The fight to enshrine equal rights for women in our Constitution has reached a state of urgency; but we have a chance if we act now. We have turned our attention to the new Attorney General Merrick Garland and Biden’s Department of Justice (”DOJ”) and we need your help.

It has been well over a hundred days since the Biden administration came to power, and they are still fighting the ERA in court and refusing to enshrine it in the Constitution. Sadly, Joe Biden’s government is continuing the anti-ERA policies and practices that Trump instituted. Wait… Whaaaahht??

The reality is that American women are now under attack like never before:

  • Domestic violence/femicide numbers skyrocketed during the pandemic with women trapped at home with abusers and prisons refusing to take in new criminals.

  • The economic devastation of the past year has left millions of women jobless after having to stay home to take care of children being home schooled. Despite unemployment numbers dropping overall, millions of women remain unemployed and overly represented in that group. Still the notion of universal childcare as infrastructure is mocked by politicians.  Who do they think should take care of the children?  I think the answer is pretty clear – keep the status quo and let the women figure it out – they always seem to somehow…

  • The Supreme Court has decided to take up a case risking the 50-year precedent of abortion rights. Heartbeat bills. Contraception access eroded. Unequal, inferior, more expensive health care. ‘Nuff said.

  • ALL OF THIS POINTS TO THE ABSOLUTE, UNEQUIVOCAL AND EXISTENTIAL NEED FOR ERA TO BE FORMALLY ADDED TO OUR FEDERAL CONSTITUTION IMMEDIATELY.

If the First Circuit Court of Appeals rules against the ERA before it gets published, our ability to argue that ERA is already law will be severely diminished.

While many will say that the law is the law and politics is politics, what I have seen and can attest to, is that the legal is political and the political can become legal.

So, we must push hard right now to demand that Merrick Garland remove the Bill Barr memo and direct the Archivist to immediately publish the Equal Rights Amendment as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.

U.S. Archivist David Ferriero claims his hands are tied because of the Bill Barr/OLC Memo ordering him not to publish ERA.

The White House claims its hands are tied because it cannot tell the Department of Justice to withdraw the Barr Memo without appearing “political.”

The White House claims that because the last administration used a heavy hand at the DOJ they are loathe to appear to be interfering.

This is a disingenuous argument given the fact that the Barr Memo was as deeply political as it was inappropriate and illegal.

Bottom line, Biden *can* call on Merrick Garland to remove the Barr memo – but for now he isn’t doing it.

The White House clearly wants the DOJ to take the lead on this.

Well, kids, guess whose hands are not only untied, but are hands that can and should REMOVE THE BARR MEMO, DROP THE CASES AGAINST THE ERA IN COURT AND PUBLISH THE AMENDMENT IMMEDIATELY?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MERRICK GARLAND, THAT’S WHO.

The DOJ’s lawyer at our hearing in the First Circuit (listen here) argued that the DOJ does not believe that women are being harmed by non-publication of the ERA — he also said that states that oppose the ERA would be harmed if the ERA were published because states would have to begin fixing their discriminatory laws.

Think about that: Our United States Department of Justice thinks it would be burdensome for states to ensure that women have full equality under all laws; and not burdensome for women to have to endure the unequal treatment stemming from not fixing those laws. Huh. OK.

The DOJ also submitted the unconstitutional D.C. District Court Opinion in Virginia, et al. v. Ferraro in our case as supplemental authority for their argument against the ERA!

The time is now for all of us to rise up and demand that Attorney General Merrick Garland remove the Bill Barr/OLC Memo so the ERA can be published as the 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Here is Merrick Garland’s contact information, and a sample letter you can use to make your voice heard. Either through the online form or snail mail (which is extremely powerful) – please take a moment to send your letter RIGHT AWAY, using our language or your own.

Please also join our Slack Channel and pick up EME’s daily tweet and send it out from your social media account to the persons we have identified at the Department of Justice. We will be sharing a new post every day with a different fact about why ERA is so crucial for America and must be adopted NOW.

Finally, please donate to us. Equal Means Equal is committed to fighting for the ERA, but with litigation and public education expenses, we really need your financial help now. Please donate $28, or as much as possible, to get us to the finish line, recurring monthly if you can. If we don’t get the ERA in the Constitution soon, we likely won’t see it added in our lifetimes. We need to put our adrenaline to work now. Together, we can do this! We have a very small window of opportunity to make this happen – probably two to four weeks. So let’s do it.

With love,

Kamala, Natalie, Wendy, Thila and the EME Team