The Honorable Joe Biden
President of the United States
Dear President Biden:
Having cosponsored the Equal Rights Amendment nine times, we trust that you understand the importance of the United States joining the community of nations which have enshrined the rights of women into their national constitution. A 2016 poll found that 92% of Americans support the Equal Rights Amendment, and did so with very small deviation across lines of sex, creed and partisan alignment. Many voted for you due to your promise to support the inclusion of these words in our own U.S. Constitution:
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged
by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
The margin of victory which made you a resident of the White House is due in part to the campaign promises you made (archived here) that,
"As President, Biden will work with advocates across the country to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) so women’s rights are once and for all explicitly enshrined in our Constitution. Biden co-sponsored the ERA nine times. As President, he will work with advocates across the country to enshrine gender equality in our Constitution. Now that Virginia has become the 38th state to ratify the ERA, Biden will proudly advocate for Congress to recognize that 3/4th of states have ratified the amendment and take action so our Constitution makes clear that any government-related discrimination against women is unconstitutional."
I am not fooled by this effort to pass off responsibility to Congress, from which no further action is required. The federal legislative branch already did its job in 1972. The states have done their job in the nearly fifty years since. It is now time for you and your administration to do your job and to formally recognize the Equal Rights Amendment as the law of the land. I write to demand that you take immediate action to instruct the United States Archivist to do her job and fulfill her ministerial duty by publishing the ERA as a part of the U.S. Constitution.
Title 1 of United States Code, Section 106b mandates that the archivist publish to the Federal Register her finding whenever the conditions laid out under Section V. of the U.S. Constitution have been met. As you acknowledged on your own website when you were campaigning for our vote, the Equal Rights Amendment has been ratified as the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution by the requisite number of states in 2020. You also claim to support abortion rights and condemned the overturning of Roe v. Wade. There is no better protection for women’s reproductive rights than the Equal Rights Amendment, which would put the right to abortion on solid footing by ensuring women and girls are no longer second-class citizens without constitutional standing.
It is well within your power to now instruct Attorney General Garland to reverse the Administration's position on the Barr Memo. It is well within your power to instruct Debra Steidel Wall in her capacity as the Archivist of the United States to perform her duty.
It is clearly within your existing power, without Congressional intervention to (as your campaign put it) "[ make ] clear that any government-related discrimination against women is unconstitutional".
It is fully within your power to ensure that the Attorney General defend the Archivist and the rights of women against any actions that would challenge or undermine the ERA.
Lip service is not sufficient. Without these actions by your Administration, you leave in doubt whether the courts of this nation will ensure that girls and women will enjoy equal protection of the law and the due process afforded citizens by the 14th Amendment. I am watching the actions you take. Women voters of this country, and the men who support them, are watching. Your party will suffer in the upcoming midterms if your administration fails to finally enshrine the sex-based rights of women in the founding Constitution of this nation. Women have done their part these past hundred years, Congress has done its part fifty years ago, and the states have subsequently done their job to ratify. It is now your duty and your privilege to take the final step to carry the Equal Rights Amendment across the finish line. Stop obfuscating and publish the ERA NOW!