Last week Representative Corey Bush (D, MO) used her 5 minutes to question Attorney General Merrick Garland as an opportunity to urge the repudiation of the Trump administration's Office of Legal Counsel's letter directing the National Archivist to ignore her statutory duty to acknowledge the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
This is how Wendy Murphy described this hearing on her twitter feed:
Incredible job today in court by ERA Attorney Mary Mahoney from Michigan! Really powerful oral argument in support of the ERA and full equality for all #Women! Thanks to leading Women’s rights group Elizabeth Cady Stanton Trust for its fierce leadership!
Prominent constitutional scholars argue that the ERA time limit was advisory only, as it was not in the text of the amendment. They also say that the five states which rescinded their approval of the ERA many years after approving it have no settled right to rescind (at least two states tried to rescind the 14th amendment, to no avail). Article V, which lays out precisely the steps to add an amendment to the Constitution, says nothing about time limits. Congress added them for several amendments in the 20th century to increase its own power and control. But those time limits were all added to the text of those amendments. Not so the ERA.
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The ERA needs to be published. Then we can all make popcorn and watch the legal skirmishes commence. But once published, it will be up to conservatives to prove why equality for women should continue to be excluded from the constitution of the world’s oldest democracy.
“We must recognize the clear will of the American people and definitively enshrine the principle of gender equality in the Constitution. It is long past time that we put all doubt to rest. I am calling on Congress to act immediately to pass a resolution recognizing ratification of the ERA.”
–President Joseph Biden Jr.
This statement, released by President Biden two years after the state of Virginia’s ratification, is being labeled “clear duplicity” by Nicole Vorrasi Bates, attorney and founder of Shattering Glass. Although Biden has implied Congress is responsible for recognizing the Equal Rights Amendment, many politicians, lawyers and even scholars question why the Executive Branch has still not published it. Most recently, the DC Court of Appeals heard the oral arguments for Illinois v. Ferriero, but to this, Vorrasi Bates says, “The Biden Administration is actually going into court and fighting against the Equal Rights Amendment, a right which would have saved Roe v. Wade.”