Attorney General Ford Continues Fight to Recognize Equal Rights Amendment as Part of U.S. Constitution

June 29, 2020


Ford files brief opposing Trump Administration’s motion to dismiss

in ongoing lawsuit

Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford filed a brief opposing the Trump Administration’s attempts to dismiss his landmark civil rights lawsuit that seeks to ensure that the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is added to the U.S. Constitution. On January 30, 2020, following Virginia’s historic vote to become the 38th and final state needed to ratify the ERA, AG Ford filed a landmark lawsuit to guarantee equal rights for women. His complaint asked the Court to compel the U.S. Archivist to do its statutory duty by recognizing the states’ ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. In May, the Trump Administration filed a motion to dismiss AG Ford’s lawsuit, seeking to block gender equality from being added to the Constitution. Today’s motion argues why it is imperative that the ERA is recognized as the 28th Amendment in the Constitution.

“For more than four months, the Trump Administration has stalled the courts from enshrining equal rights for women nationwide,” said AG Ford. “His Administration is signaling to the women of America that, after 231 years, they must wait even longer for the equal treatment under the Constitution. To every woman in Nevada and across America fighting for equal rights, I’m proud to fight alongside you.”

In his brief, AG Ford highlights that blocking recognition of the ERA as a valid amendment to the Constitution would signal to the women of America that they must wait even longer for equality. AG Ford also argues that “with Virginia’s ratification earlier this year, the Article V requirements [of the Constitution] were satisfied and the Equal Rights Amendment became ‘valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of th[e] Constitution.’”

Additionally, AG Ford argues that the Constitution does not “[give] the federal Executive Branch any role in the amendment process” and the framers of the constitution “designed the process to ensure that federal power had its limits.”

In AG Ford’s original lawsuit filed in January of this year, he explained why the Equal Rights Amendment remains valid for several reasons. As the Complaint states, “Article V does not empower Congress to dictate when a state may consider – much less ratify – a proposed amendment” and “nothing in Article V suggests – much less clearly requires – that States take action on proposed constitutional amendments within any particular amount of time.” The complaint also explains that “States have no power to rescind prior ratifications.”

Today’s filed brief is attached.