Illinois, Nevada, and Virginia filed a lawsuit to compel the Archivist of the United States to recognize and complete the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
The League joined 55 other civic-minded organizations in filing an amicus brief in support of attorneys general of Virginia, Nevada, and Illinois as they seek to have the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratified. The lawsuit, brought by the states against David Ferriero in his official capacity as National Archivist, asks the US District Court for DC to order Mr. Ferriero to record Virginia’s recent ratification of the ERA, which they argue is his duty under the law. Virginia’s ratification of the ERA makes it the 38th state to do so, but the third state — alongside Nevada and Illinois — to do so after 1982, a statutory deadline that the defendant argues is the last year any state could ratify the amendment. The League’s amicus brief argues that Article V of the US Constitution does not permit the imposition of “any time limit” on the states’ power to ratify constitutional amendments.
In July 2020, Alabama, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Tennessee — states who rescinded their ratification of the ERA — filed a Motion for Summary Judgment arguing that the Plaintiffs no longer have the requisite number of states to successfully ratify the ERA under Article V, in addition to the fact that the ratification deadline lapsed. LWVUS joined a long list of amici in signing on to a women-focused brief.
In March 2021, the District Court granted the archivist’s motion to dismiss. The states have appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and League is expected to join an amicus brief in support.
Initial Complaint Filed
Virginia, Illinois, and Nevada file their complaint against the US Archivist.
Archivist Files Motion to Dismiss
Intervenor States File Motion for Summary Judgment
Alabama, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Tennessee, the intervenors in the case, file a motion for summary judgment.
Plaintiff States File Motion for Summary Judgment
Virginia, Nevada, and Illinois file a Motion for Summary Judgment.
District Court Grants the Archivist's Motion to Dismiss
Following the District Court's Motion to Dismiss, the League of Women Voters sends a letter to Congress asking them to remove the deadline for ratification of the ERA.