News & Politics

Three State AG's Sue to Force U.S. to Ratify the ERA

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Attorneys general from three states are suing the archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, for improperly denying recognition of the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Earlier this month, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment, which states “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

But five states rescinded their ratification, complicating the issue even further.

Congress passed the ERA with a deadline of 1982 for ratification. The AG’s argument is that the archivist has no authority to deny certification of the ratification of the ERA, and that Congress had no legal authority to place a deadline on ratification.

Fox News:

In Thursday’s lawsuit, the attorneys general argue that U.S. laws do not give the archivist the power to decide whether to certify an amendment. They contend the archivist’s duty to certify the amendment is “mandatory and purely ministerial.”

“After generations of effort, the women of this country are entitled to their rightful place in the Constitution. This Court should compel the Archivist to carry out his statutory duty of recognizing the complete and final adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment,” the lawsuit said.

So we should muck around with the Constitution because women are “entitled” to it after “generations of effort.” Sheesh.

The attorneys general also argue that the deadline passed by Congress is not binding; the time limitation was not included in the text of the article that was sent to he states for consideration. They also say the U.S. Constitution doesn’t explicitly give Congress the power to set a timeline for states to ratify an amendment. They added that the last amendment to be added in 1992 – the 27th Amendment limiting the ability of members of Congress to give themselves pay raises – took more than 200 years to be ratified by 38 states.

Funny how liberals become strict constructionists when they want something the Constitution doesn’t “explicitly” forbid or allow.

And for the record, the Congress that originally offered an amendment for ratification was the very first Congress in 1789. They gave no deadline for ratification, unlike the ERA.

Louisiana Attorney General and Republican Attorney General Association Chairman Jeff Landry called the move by his Democratic counterparts extreme.

“Anybody who wants to amend our nation’s most important foundational document needs to follow the established rules and procedures, not take shortcuts and then bully and bulldoze until they get their way,” he said in a statement to Fox News.

“Bully and bulldoze” sounds about right.

I don’t understand why if the ERA is so important to women that the current Congress doesn’t resubmit the entire amendment for ratification. In this day and age, it would sail through the states and be ratified in record time. After all, who could deny equal rights to women?

But that’s extra work. Democracy is too hard. Better to take the shortcut offered by the courts to club their way to ratification.