WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit urging the court to reject attempts by some states to bootstrap the expired Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution.

The ERA dates back to 1972 when Congress passed the measure and sent it to the states for approval by a ¾ majority within seven years. When the ERA failed to obtain sufficient support within the congressionally imposed deadline, it expired.

The lawsuit, filed originally by the states of Virginia, Nevada, and Illinois, disingenuously claims that Viriginia’s symbolic vote in favor of the ERA on January 27, 2020 constitutes the 38th and final vote needed for ratification and that it is now law of the land.   

On March 5, 2021, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras threw out the lawsuit. Virginia and its fellow plaintiff states appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 

In February, Virginia’s newly sworn-in Attorney General Jason Miyares pulled his state out of the frivolous 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 Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center, issued the following statement: “The Court of Appeals should affirm the ruling of the District Court and hold that the ERA cannot be added to the Constitution without the contemporaneous consent of the governed.”

The amicus brief can be found HERE.



Independent Women’s Law Center, project of Independent Women’s Forum, advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and respect for the American constitutional order.