May 4, 2021

Urgent Update on the ERA

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

The momentum keeps building after Saturday’s ERA Townhall.

Yesterday the Attorneys General of Virginia, Illinois and Nevada appealed the March 5, 2021 DC District Court opinion in the case, Virginia et al. v. Ferrerio (#1:20-cv-00242-RC), to the DC Court of Appeals.

Equal Means Equal is heartened that the three last states to ratify the ERA are sticking with U.S. women until we get our equality.

The decision in the DC case was so appalling that it just could NOT be allowed to stand.

The DC Court wrongly decided that the states did not have standing to challenge the Archivist’s refusal to publish the ERA, that was duly ratified on January 27, 2020 when Virginia became the 38th and final necessary state to ratify it.

Further, the DC Court went on – after the Court declared that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction – to rule that the deadline was valid, even though it was only in the preamble not the text (preventing the states from saying yes or no to the deadline, which is unconstitutional)

Finally, Judge Contreras went on to say that the Archivist, whose mandatory legal ministerial duty is to publish all amendments once they are ratified by three quarters of the states, had discretion to decide whether or not to publish the amendment, which the Archivist has no authority to do.

 

As questions arise from the Townhall, I want to take the opportunity to address them here:

Question:  When the Archivist publishes the ratified results, does it mean that the amendment to the Constitution has been approved and is now law? If not, what is the purpose of publishing?

Answer:  The Archivist has a mandatory legal duty to publish all Amendments that are ratified by three-fourths of the states in the United States Constitution.  The Supreme Court has ruled that an Amendment becomes law, part of the Constitution on the date the last state ratifies it.  The ERA was ratified on January 27, 2020 when Virginia became the last state to ratify it.

Reminder to sign up to listen to oral arguments tomorrow:

Public Access to the court’s live audio can be heard here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiq_Kg0zEPrjMFK_s-KP5_g

If you can’t catch it live you can hear audio recordings of each argument here (you’ll need to download a free RSS Reader app first):
https://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/oralargsrss

More soon,

Thanks and love,

Kamala, Natalie, Wendy, Thila and Team EME

PS: Your generous tax-deductible contributions are an investment in our results-driven organization on the frontlines of the fight for equality. Any amount is greatly appreciated, but for donations of $500 or more we’ll send you our exclusive (and very popular!) handmade Equal Means Equal hoodie as a special thank you.