Sep. 28, 2022
Washington, D.C. – Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul issued statements following argument before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal on their lawsuit demanding the Federal Archivist certify the Equal Rights Amendment. From 2017 to 2020, Nevada, Illinois and Virginia ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, bringing the total number of states having done so to 38 – enough for the amendment’s ratification.
"It is far beyond time to stop the stalling and codify the rights that we all share - regardless of sex - but that have not always been honored in our country," said AG Ford. "I am disappointed that we have to fight to recognize the equal rights of women, but as long as I am Attorney General, we will not stop until these rights are codified in our Constitution. By inscribing these rights in our nation's most important document, we will protect our country and our citizens against any future actions that would take us backward."
"As we continue our fight to recognize the Equal Rights
Amendment as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution amid a national assault on
women’s rights, I am struck that Congress first considered an equal rights
amendment nearly 100 years ago," Raoul
said. "One hundred years is far too
long to wait for equality under the law. I have a daughter who intends to
practice law, and the Constitution she will pledge to protect should fully
protect her as well. Until the United States Constitution reflects our society’s
commitment to not go backward, none of us should stop fighting for equality."
The Equal Rights
Amendment states, in part, that "equality of all rights under the law
shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account
Originally introduced in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment was
finally adopted in Congress in 1972 with broad, bipartisan support. Under the
leadership of then-State Sen. Patricia Spearman, Nevada ratified the Equal
Rights Amendment on March 21, 2017, when AG Ford served as Senate Majority
Leader. Illinois ratified the ERA shortly after in 2018.
Following refusal by the Federal Archivist to certify the ERA, AG Ford sued to ensure the Equal Rights
Amendment was recognized as the 28th Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution. Article V of the Constitution
addresses the exclusive role of Congress and the States in amending the Constitution,
with no mention of any role for the Executive Branch or the federal archivist
in the process.