April 17, 2020

EME Rejects Government’s Motion to Block ERA Ratification

By Kamala, Natalie, and the EME Team

On Thursday, April 16th, Equal Means Equal rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to block our lawsuit that seeks to ensure the Equal Rights Amendment takes its lawful place in the United States Constitution.

“The government’s response to EME’s suit essentially states that women should remain second-class citizens despite the overwhelming support of the American people for ERA,” said Equal Means Equal's President Kamala Lopez.

Our lawsuit filed in January in U.S. District Court in Boston argues that congressionally imposed deadlines for states to ratify the ERA are unconstitutional and called on the court to compel the Archivist of the United States to officially record ERA as the 28th amendment to the Constitution. The complaint also calls on the court to reject any attempts by states to rescind their prior ratifications of the ERA. It is the only ERA lawsuit brought entirely by women.

The Department of Justice filed its motion late Wednesday to dismiss the lawsuit brought by Equal Means Equal and the co-plantiffs. The government’s motion makes all the arguments we expected them to make about why they believe the ERA is dead. We aren’t surprised because we know that some people in this country want very badly to keep women unequal under the Constitution, subject to unequal pay and disproportionately high rates of violence and abuse.

The Trump administration had already publicly cited its opposition to adding the ERA to the Constitution when it advised the Archivist of the United States not to officially record the ERA as duly ratified. Virginia became the 38th and last necessary state to ratify in January.

“The historic lawsuit we filed is a call to action for women and all decent people who believe everyone is entitled to equal rights under the law,” said Equal Means Equal's Vice President Natalie White.

Our open letter to studios and other networks requesting more media coverage about the current status of ERA got overwhelming response. The letter was signed by over 500 industry members and activists call on the entertainment industry to use their public megaphone in the service and support of the Equal Rights Amendment immediately, as the ERA approaches the Supreme Court.

Actress and Activist Rose McGowan requests “an immediate response and commitment from all studios, networks, and media partners to make the public aware that while Mrs. America’s Phyllis Schlafly may be dead, the Equal Rights Amendment is ratified, reactivated, and ready to be implemented and enforced in the service of all Americans.” Rupert Murdoch and Mick Jagger agree.

Some of the letter’s signees include Nevada State Senator Patricia Spearman, film directors Lizzie Borden and Eva Husson, Lizzy Jagger and her father rocker Mick Jagger, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and daughter Ally Hilfiger, Jerry and Rupert Murdoch, Outlander star Caitriona Balfe, Fear the Walking Dead actress Mishel Prada, filmmaker and producer Vanessa Hope, actress, producer and activist Alysia Reiner and Ted Hope, head of Amazon Studios.

Please share our open letter in your social media using the hastags #Mrs.America #ISupportTheERANow to ensure the ratification of ERA now.