Herring, as AG term winds down, continues fight over Equal Rights Amendment
Attorney General Mark R. Herring continues to lead the fight to ensure the federal government properly recognizes that the Equal Rights Amendment has been ratified and is now part of the United States Constitution.
Along with co-leads Attorney General Kwame Raoul of Illinois and Attorney General Aaron Ford of Nevada, Herring today filed his opening brief in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stating that a district court’s dismissal of the case for supposed lack of jurisdiction must be reversed or it would “allow an unelected executive branch official to disregard his statutory duty,” “obstruct Plaintiff-States’ sovereign prerogative to ratify amendments that bring our foundational document in line with our Nation’s values,” and “tell the women of America that, after 234 years, they must wait even longer for equal treatment under the Constitution.”
“The ERA has been properly ratified by the states and any attempt to prevent its inclusion in the Constitution is without basis in law,” Herring said. “The Equal Rights Amendment will finally ensure true equality in our nation’s foundational document and correct an injustice of historic proportions. For more than two centuries women have fought for recognition of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities that should be guaranteed to each of us by the Constitution. This unlawful and unexplainable obstruction must end, and the ERA must be certified, published, and made a full part of our Constitution.”
“We are grateful to the attorneys general for driving this litigation forward. The ERA has met all the constitutional requirements for an amendment, and the Archivist has a duty to publish it, providing official notice to all 50 States that the ERA is now the Twenty-Eighth Amendment to the Constitution,” said Carol Jenkins, president and CEO of the ERA Coalition. “There can be no time limit on equality.”
In March 2021, a district court judge granted a request by the Trump administration and Republican attorneys general to dismiss this lawsuit because of a supposed lack of standing by ratifying states, prompting an appeal to the DC Circuit.
Herring’s brief concludes:
“This appeal is not merely about State standing or the meaning of Article V. It is about who we are as a Nation. Thirty-eight States have voted to make the Constitution ‘more perfect’ with an express recognition of sex equality. Those votes should be respected.”