The Equal Rights Amendment is NOT in the U.S. Constitution. The Trump administration wants to make sure it doesn’t get in the Constitution and has filed asking the Federal Court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Nevada, Illinois and Virginia to force U.S. archivist David Ferriero “to carry out his statutory duty of recognizing the complete and final adoption” of the ERA as the 28th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Department of Justice has filed a motion to dismiss the case.
When, in 1972, Congress passed the ERA after 49 years of debate, it set a 7-year deadline for ratification by the necessary 38 states. Bowing to public pressure a 3-year extension was voted by Congress. 92% of the 38 states had ratified when the extension ran out in 1982.
While attempts have been on-going in Congress to eliminate the deadline, the campaign for ratification has continued. In 2017 Nevada became the 36th state to ratify; in 2018 Illinois ratified; and early this year Virginia ratified the ERA.
Now Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is leading the lawsuit in DC. In his statement of condemnation against the Trump administration he said, “Donald Trump is telling the women of America that, after 231 years, they should just sit down and wait even longer for equal treatment under the Constitution. It’s wrong, it’s offensive, and it’s shameful. If the Trump administration opposes a Constitutional guarantee of equality for women, then they should just say so rather than hiding behind process and trying to throw the issue into (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell’s hands.”
These few words- “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United State or by any state on account of sex” - will mean that sex will be given the same scrutiny under the law as race, religion or national origin. It is justice long over-due.
No doubt the Trump administration is hoping you won’t be paying attention while our lives are in such turmoil during the pandemic and the constant attention being paid to the elections. However, it is urgent we not be fooled yet again by these tactics.