ERA Update

ERA Up-Date By Liz Jordan

On Jan. 27, 2022, two years after the last required ratification vote in Virginia (38/50), the Equal Rights Amendment sits in the National Archivists office because the Trump Administration blocked the certification and publication of the amendment.

A large coalition of women’s rights groups met and marched in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 27 this year to urge President Biden, Attorney General Garland, and the U. S. Senate to take the final steps to enshrine it as the 28th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.  President Biden sent a message to Congress urging them “to pass a resolution recognizing the ratification of the ERA.” (1/27/2022 The White House Statement from President Biden o the Equal Rights Amendment.)

Facts on the ground:

  • On Wednesday, March 17, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to remove the time limit with a vote of 222-204 on HJ Res 17. Attention now turns to the U.S. Senate and moving SJ Res 1 to the floor for a vote. (org.)
  • On Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, Reps. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Maloney and 154 cosponsors announced the introduction of a resolution before the U.S. House affirming that the Equal Rights Amendment has been validly ratified and is now in effect as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • However, the Senate has yet to act. “So far, the only Republican senators supporting the ERA joint resolution are Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. Not one male Republican senator has indicated support, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pledged to block the measure.” (2/10/22 Carrie N. Baker, Ms. Magazine)
  • On Feb. 8, 2022, Senators Romney (Utah) Johnson (Wisconsin) and Portman (Ohio) sent a letter to the U. S. Archivist “seeking …[his] commitment” to not certify the amendment to the U. S. Constitution.
  • Breaking news: Feb. 18, 2022. Virginia Attorney General Miyares has withdrawn his state from participation in a lawsuit against National Archivist Ferriero to force publication of the ERA. The attorneys general of Nevada and Illinois, along with Virginia’s Miyares, had joined together to sue the Archivist to publish the ERA as the 28th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.
  • March 22, 2022, 50 years after the ERA was passed out of Congress, ERA Coalition and Fund for Women’s Equality begin a series of virtual events.

“Certainly, the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex.  The only issue is whether it prohibits it.  It doesn’t.” Antonin Scalia