WASHINGTON, D.C. — Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) and Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) applaud the decision last week by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares to pull the state out of a controversial federal lawsuit that seeks to bootstrap the expired Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution.
On January 30, 2020, the states of Virginia, Illinois, and Nevada filed a federal lawsuit, asking the court to declare the ERA law of the land – even though the proposed amendment died more than 40 years ago when it failed to obtain the required support of ¾ of the states by the congressionally imposed deadline.
The lawsuit disingenuously claims that Viriginia’s symbolic vote on January 27, 2020 to approve the 1970s-era amendment constitutes the 38th and final vote needed for ratification.
On March 5, 2021, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras threw out the lawsuit on grounds that the ERA expired, but Virginia and its fellow plaintiff states appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
In 2022, newly sworn-in Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares decided to pull the state out of the lawsuit. The decision to leave the lawsuit does not mean that the case is over, as other plaintiff states continue to pursue the frivolous claim in the Court of Appeals.
Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center, issued the following statement: “We are gratified that Jason Miyares has pulled the state of Virginia out of this politically motivated attempt to unlawfully force the ERA on America without the consent of the people. Some state attorneys general want to hoodwink the court into believing that an out-of-touch, expired proposal from the era of Charlie’s Angels, disco, and the Iran Hostage Crisis is now part of the Constitution. It’s not. And we are glad that General Miyares understands that further litigation would be a waste of the Virginia taxpayers’ money.”
Inez Stepman, senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Forum, said: “Most of us either weren’t alive or were too young to vote when the ERA failed the first time around. In 2022, women and men are legally equal. In fact, women today are more educated, more economically prosperous, and more politically powerful than ever before. Ironically, it is exactly these women, who make up the majority of voters in nearly every modern election, who would not have the chance to weigh in about the consequences of the ERA because of this illegitimate process.”
“Adopting the ERA now would not ratify the legal equality we have long since achieved. Rather, it could potentially create an inflexible body of law incapable of recognizing differences between men and women that actually matter. Activists must not be allowed to impose these radical consequences on the entire country without the consent of a contemporaneous supermajority of support, as required by Article V of the Constitution.”
Independent Women’s Law Center, project of Independent Women’s Forum, advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and respect for the American constitutional order.
Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.