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AG Herring Condemns Alabama Lawsuit To Block ERA

Woman in a red jacket, with an anti-ERA badge
(Photo: Craig Carper/VPM News)

Three states are suing in federal court to block the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. This comes as Virginia moves closer to becoming the final state needed to add the amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The ERA, submitted to the states in the early 1970s, would ban discrimination based on sex.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced Wednesday that he’s signed on to a lawsuit with attorneys general from Louisiana and South Dakota to block the amendment. The complaint names as the defendant, U.S. archivist David Ferrierro. It seeks to prevent Ferrierro from adding the ERA to the Constitution.

Marshall said in a press release “...the ERA would not promote true equality, but rather a far-left agenda”. The lawsuit argues that because the deadline to ratify the ERA passed decades ago, it’s a dead amendment.

“If activists want a new ERA, they should persuade their fellow Americans that it makes sense, then pass it through Congress and a new state ratification process,” he said in the press release. 

In an interview with VPM News, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said if Virginia lawmakers vote to ratify the amendment this General Assembly session, which the new Democratic majority is expected to do, he’ll do everything he can to make sure it is added to the Constitution.

“Whether it’s getting involved in the litigation that has recently been filed or some other manner. I’m going to look at tools that I have to make sure that the will of Virginians and the will of those other states that have ratified it is upheld.”

Herring and other proponents of the ERA say the deadline can be overridden. A bill to remove the deadline is currently working its way through Congress.

Jessica Neuwirth, founder and co-president of the ERA Coalition called the states’ opposition outdated and shameful.

“This is not controversial,” she said. “It’s fundamental human right. It’s an international law. And it’s something that we have really supported on the global stage as a defender of women’s rights.”


Whittney Evans is VPM News’ features editor.
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