RICHMOND, Va. – Three Democratic state attorneys general are suing a U.S. government official seeking to force him to recognize Virginia’s vote this week to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and certify the measure as part of the Constitution.
The Equal Rights Amendment states in part that “equality of all rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
The lawsuit filed Thursday against the archivist of the United States comes after the National Archives and Records Administration said this week that the archivist would “take no action to certify the adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment," which would prohibit discrimination based on sex.
The attorneys general of Virginia, Nevada and Illinois argue that U.S. laws do not give the archivist the power to decide whether to certify an amendment.
“Women have always been endowed with equal rights, even though our country has wrongly failed to recognize them,” said Nevada AG Aaron D. Ford. “These rights are entitled to their rightful place in the Constitution, and I am committed to ensuring they are permanently written into our nation’s history and its future. Advancing civil rights is one of my Administration’s main areas of focus. The gravity of this movement should not be underplayed—today we are advocating for women’s rights here in Nevada and all over the country, and we are taking an essential stride towards inclusivity.”