Calling for the ERA—With No Delay!

Attorney Generals Mark Herring of Virginia, Kwame Raoul of Illinois and Aaron Ford of Nevada filed a complaint yesterday against Archivist of the United States David Ferriero after the National Archives and Records Administration announced he would not certify the adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution.

It is outrageous that the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment has taken nearly 100 years, and at every stage there have been roadblocks. But we keep moving forward.

Ellie (third from the left) with campus activists at an ERA rally.

According to the Attorneys General, the process set in place by Article V of the Constitution is complete and the archivist must perform his duty and certify the ERA as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The arbitrary timeline put in the preamble of the ERA, and not in the text of the amendment as it will appear in the Constitution that has been ratified by the 38 states, is not binding. As stated by Attorney General Mark Herring, the 27th Amendment was sent to the states in 1789, and was not fully ratified and added to the Constitution until 1992.

As Attorney General of Illinois Kwame Raoul has said, essentially Article V of the Constitution gives no power to the Executive branch of the U.S. government in the amending process. The ERA has met the requirement of approval by three-fourths of the states and should be enshrined in the Constitution.


Eleanor Smeal is president of the Feminist Majority Foundation and publisher of Ms. For over five decades, she has played a leading role in both national and state campaigns to win women’s rights legislation, including the Equal Rights Amendment.