Virginia AG Sues in Next Step of Equal Rights Amendment Battle

Jan 31, 2020


A woman holds up a sign as members of Congress and representatives of women's groups hold a rally to mark the 40th anniversary of congressional passage of the Equal Rights Amendment outside the Capitol on March 22, 2012.
Credit Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


Virginia’s Attorney General took steps Thursday to try to force U.S. officials to recognize the Equal Rights Amendment. 




This comes after Virginia lawmakers recently ratified the ERA, giving the amendment the necessary state support to become part of the Constitution. 


Attorney General Mark Herring says it’s time to pick up the baton for the next stage of the ratification effort,  the legal battle over whether the Equal Rights Amendment has expired. 


Speaking to reporters Thursday, Herring says he’s suing to ensure the will of Virginians is recognized. The ERA would ban discrimination on the basis of sex. 


“So don’t let anyone tell you that the ERA doesn’t matter, it matters for millions of women who will finally enjoy the Constitutional protections they deserve,” said Herring. 


But the National Archivist confirmed earlier this week they would not certify the amendment. That’s because the U.S. Justice Department says it’s too late, citing a deadline that passed in the 1980’s. 


Herring, and two other attorneys general are arguing that the archivist doesn’t have that discretion. The case will now work its way through federal court.


This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.