Equal Means Equal; The Yellow Roses; Katherine Weitbrecht
David S. Ferriero

No. 20-1802
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

BOSTON, MA — Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) filed an amicus brief on Wednesday in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, urging the court to reject demands by special interest groups to add the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution without the consent of the people.

In Equal Means Equal; The Yellow Roses; Katherine Weitbrecht (Plaintiff-Appellants) v. David S. Ferriero (Defendant-Appellee), Plaintiff-Appellants argue that they have been injured by the Archivist’s failure to adopt the ERA and ask that the court order him to do so.

In August 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper dismissed the case on the ground that Plaintiffs lack standing to bring the case.

IWLC agrees with the decision of the District Court.

Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center, said, “Equal Means Equal and The Yellow Roses do not speak for all women and cannot establish standing to bring this case simply by claiming that, as women, they have an interest in seeing the ERA become law.”

IWLC further argues that, irrespective of the Plaintiff-Appellant’s standing to sue, the Court of Appeals must dismiss the case because the ERA expired in 1979.

“Article V of the Constitution requires that amendments be ratified by 3/4 (or 38) of all states,” Braceras said. “In 1972, Congress sent the proposed ERA to the states for ratification within seven years. The ERA failed to garner the support of 38 states within that congressionally-imposed time period—or, indeed, even by the turn of the century. The ERA is, therefore, dead and cannot now be resurrected.”

Inez Stepman, senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Forum, added, “If Plaintiff-Appellants want to see the ERA become the law of the land, they must—as the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated—put the amendment ‘back in the political hopper’ and start again. Only by doing this can we give the American public the opportunity to consider the ERA in light of its potential negative consequences for women and girls, which have yet to be explored in the artificially-truncated public debate.”

Read the amicus brief HERE.



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