As you know, EME filed a lawsuit in federal court in January against the Archivist of the United States to ensure the validity of ERA‘s ratification now that Virginia has become the 38th and last necessary state to ratify. Our lawsuit is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and is before Judge Denise J. Casper. You can read a copy of our amended complaint here.
The government’s response is due on April 1, 2020. It will likely be a motion to dismiss arguing that the ERA ratification that expired in 1982 is valid, hence ERA is not valid. We will then be filing a brief arguing that the 1982 deadline is not constitutional, hence ERA is now the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
This unprecedented case deals with the most important women’s issue in history. Thus, amicus briefs are being prepared by organizations that care about equality. An amicus brief is basically a brief filed by interested third-parties who are not named in the lawsuit, but whose rights and interests are affected by it.
Any organization may file its own brief, or, as is more common, you may sign on to an existing amicus brief. Obviously, the latter option is easier. While amicus briefs are not typical at the district court level, and are more likely to be filed when a case reaches the circuit court of appeals, it is not uncommon for amicus briefs to be filed at the District Court level in cases of this magnitude.
We invite you to submit a brief, or sign one of the briefs already being prepared in support of our case. Your voice matters. If you wish to express to the court the importance of ERA to you and your organization, now is the time to speak up.
Another lawsuit making the same arguments that we make about why the deadline is invalid as filed in DC federal court by the Attorney General of Virginia. You can and should support that lawsuit as well, but our case will be decided much sooner than that one, and our case is the only one filed BY women on behalf of women.
Moreover, it is our view that the Virginia lawsuit is limited in its ability to produce a court ruling validating the ERA.
Whether the ERA is valid requires a court to adjudicate the question of the deadline’s constitutionality, irrespective of the Archivist’s recording, and the Virginia Attorney General does not have the same authority to obtain an answer to that question in its lawsuit, as EME does in our lawsuit. Only EME’s lawsuit makes claims that require the court to answer the question: Is the ERA now the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution?
If your organization is able to write its own amicus brief, we are thrilled and grateful. If your organization does not have that capacity, not to worry, EME is working with wonderful lawyers who are preparing Amici Briefs that your organizations can simply sign onto.
If you have additional questions, ask to join one of our informational Zoom calls with constitutional attorneys, including EME’s Legal Counsel Wendy Murphy.
Do not hesitate to reach out to us ASAP – the case is moving forward quickly!
Deadline to be included in our suit in support of the ERA in April 1st. Hope to hear from you by then!
Please email us at [email protected] if you are interested in joining our growing list of amicus supporters.
Thanks and love,
Kamala, Natalie and the EME Team
P.S. Feel free to brainstorm on other groups that support equality and send on this ask yourself! Let’s show the court that American society is united in its support for women’s equality NOW.