Free Speech For People, Generation Ratify, Equal Rights Action, The Social Equity Through Alliance, and Voters of Tomorrow, and others have issued a letter to President Biden, urging him to instruct the Acting Archivist of the U.S., Debra Steidel Wall to fulfill her duty to publish the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) with her certificate, declaring that it has become part of the Constitution of the United States.
The constitutional requirements for certifying new amendments are approval by two-thirds of both chambers of Congress and ratification by three-fourths of the states. The Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in 1972, met the criteria for publication in January 2020, when Virginia became the 38th state to ratify it.
Under the direction of former Attorney General Bill Barr, the OLC argued that the ERA has not and cannot be properly ratified because only 35 states ratified the ERA prior to the expiration of an extra-constitutional seven-year ratification deadline imposed in 1972. This deadline, however, was not included in the text of the amendment passed by Congress and ratified by the states and, as such, lacks any constitutional authority. Nevada, Illinois, and Virginia have since ratified the amendment, satisfying the constitutional requirement that a proposed amendment be ratified by three-fourths of the states.
The United States currently lacks explicit federal constitutional protection against discrimination on the basis of sex. The ERA would correct this, by ensuring that “[e]quality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
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