Jan 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

State attorneys general sue to demand certification of Equal Rights Amendment

Mark Herring.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Three Democratic state attorneys general filed a lawsuit against a federal government official on Thursday to certify the Equal Rights Amendment, which would ban sex-based discrimination, into the U.S. Constitution.

The big picture: The lawsuit follows the National Archives and Records Administration's decision not to adopt the amendment, despite Virginia's General Assembly approving the ERA in mid-January, becoming the 38th state to do so. The NARA's decision is in line with a Justice Department legal opinion also issued earlier this month, arguing that Congress imposed a deadline for ratification, which expired in 1982.

Details: The attorneys general of Virginia, Nevada and Illinois, the last three states needed to reach the 38-state threshold for certification, argue in their lawsuit that it is national archivist David Ferriero's duty to certify the amendment.

  • "After generations of effort, the women of this country are entitled to their rightful place in the Constitution. This Court should compel the Archivist to carry out his statutory duty of recognizing the complete and final adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment," the lawsuit reads.

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