FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 10, 2022
Illinois National Organization for Women (NOW) Joins Amicus Brief in DC Circuit Court Calling for Publication of Equal Rights Amendment as 28th Amendment.
(Chicago, Illinois) Lawyers from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP today filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on behalf of 26 organizations advocating for the ratification of the 28th Amendment, also known as the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA bans discrimination on the basis of sex and guarantees equality for women under the U.S. Constitution.
“No amendment that has been ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the States has failed to become part of the Constitution,” reads the amicus brief.
The signatories to the amicus brief include organizations that fiercely advocated to ratify the ERA in the final three states necessary to reach the three-fourths threshold required to make a constitutional amendment—Virginia, Nevada and Illinois.
The Amici argue that the Plaintiff States have suffered and will continue to suffer actual, concrete injury sufficient to confer Article III standing.
The brief contends that where, as here, a federal official’s refusal to perform a ministerial function violates the States’ authority under the Constitution, the states are entitled to vindicate their authority through the courts. Quite simply, the federal government has no Constitutional role in deciding whether an amendment should be ratified and, therefore, no part in deciding whether a proposed amendment is ultimately made part of the Constitution.
The amici are committed to the mission of advancing equity for women and girls and have spent considerable time and effort towards the ratification of the ERA by their respective state legislatures. These organizations, hailing from Virginia, Nevada and Illinois, brought this ratification process all the way to the finish line, only to have the Archivist refuse to acknowledge the ERA’s rightful place as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.
“Enshrining gender equality in the U.S. Constitution has been a core issue of NOW’s for decades,” stated Laura Welch, President of Illinois NOW. “Generations of activists have expended blood, sweat and tears to finally ratify the ERA here in Illinois. We will not allow it to go unacknowledged in our Constitution,” she added. Welch also heartily thanked Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul for his efforts to urge the U.S. government to certify the ratification of the ERA.