February 5, 2020: Official Support Grows for EME Lawsuit Protecting ERA Ratification

February 5, 2020: Official Support Grows for EME Lawsuit Protecting ERA Ratification
February 5, 2020 Robert Wood

It’s been quite a week already! On Monday, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued a statement of support for our lawsuit to protect the hard-fought ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, joining the other three AGs (of Virginia, Nevada & Illinois) in agreeing with our legal argument.

“We cannot put a deadline on women’s rights. Now that 38 states have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, it’s time to enshrine women’s equality in the Constitution, where it belongs. I’m proud to stand with the Yellow Roses and others across the country in the fight to put sex discrimination in the past,” Attorney General Healey said.

“Attorney General Healey confirms what Equal Means Equal has always asserted. Placing a deadline on equality is unconstitutional,” said EME President and Founder Kamala Lopez.

The EME lawsuit [EQUAL MEANS EQUAL, THE YELLOW ROSES, and KATHERINE WEITBRECHT v. DAVID S. FERRIERO, in his official capacity as Archivist of the United States] argues that congressionally imposed deadlines for states to ratify the ERA are unconstitutional. “Article V of the United States Constitution nowhere grants Congress the power to impose deadlines,” the lawsuit states. “Under Article V, an amendment becomes valid when three-fourths of the states ratify it.”

A federal lawsuit filed last week by the attorneys general of Virginia, Nevada and Illinois [COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, STATE OF ILLINOIS, and STATE OF NEVADA v. DAVID S. FERRIERO, in his official capacity as Archivist of the United States] mirrors the complaint filed by attorney Wendy Murphy for Equal Means Equal.

Katherine Weitbrecht is a college sophomore in Norfolk County, Massachusetts who suffered a violent act because she is female.  She was strangled by a man who mocked her for wearing a rape whistle on campus late at night. The man had a history of making discriminatory and derogatory comments about females. Katherine reported the strangulation incident to law enforcement, but no hate crime charges could be filed because women are not protected under those statutes. Had she suffered the exact same crime based on ethnicity or religion, a hate crime charge could have been filed.

Women need the equal protection of our laws. Women need the immediate adoption and enforcement of the ERA.

Including Katherine in Equal Means Equal’s lawsuit makes explicit why ERA adoption is crucial in our goal to end violence against women.

Equal Means Equal is proud to represent American women, girls and people of all genders as a class in the only female-led lawsuit to protect this historic and hard-fought right of basic equality.

Support our lawsuit. Write to your state AG and demand that they join us in support of the ERA.


Also this week, hear Equal Means Equal’s President Kamala Lopez on WBAI’s Joy of Resistance speak about the ERA in context of its long history, the struggle around it as well as what would be gained by its passage.

And lastly but certainly not leastly ☺ read this beautiful interview of Equal Means Equal’s Vice President Natalie White on how she used art to advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Equal Means Equal has taken the ERA from the state houses to ballot box to the courtroom and welcomes the support of all who join us in seeking to make ERA the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.

Our court battle will be long, hard and complicated. We expect a protracted and costly fight in the federal courts, spread over several states. Our opposition is organized, well financed and committed to doing all in its power to block the ERA. We cannot win this fight without your help. Your kind support is the only way we can prevail. Please support this essential final fight for equality.

With love and thanks

Kamala, Natalie and EME team

PS: Your generous tax-deductible contributions are an investment in our results-driven organization on the front lines 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.