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National Right to Life Lauds Defeat of Sham Measure Purporting to Put the Equal Rights Amendment into the U.S. Constitution

Apr 27, 2023 | 2023 Press Releases, Press Releases, Press Room

WASHINGTON (April 27, 2023) – A measure pretending to revive the long-expired Equal Rights Amendment failed today in the U.S. Senate, falling 9 votes short of the level of support necessary to allow it to advance to the House of Representatives, where it would have died anyway. The vote to advance S.J. Res. 4 was 51-47, with 60 votes required.

“While some ERA true-believers will assert that today’s vote was a mystical victory for the ERA, they further delude themselves,” said Douglas Johnson, director of the ERA Project of the National Right to Life Committee. “ERA-revival advocates continue to deflect news media attention away from the fact that the federal courts have consistently rejected legal claims that the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment remains viable. The most recent such ruling was by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on February 28, rejecting the claim of Illinois and Nevada that the ERA has been ratified—a unanimous ruling by a panel made up of judges appointed by Presidents Obama, Biden, and Trump.”

Johnson also noted that a White House State of Administration Policy issued today on S.J. Res. 4 “conspicuously avoided language asserting that the resolution would have a legal effect, but instead merely observed that the resolution ‘would declare’ the ERA to be part of the Constitution.”

“Every time the issue has been litigated in federal court, most recently in 2021, the pro-ERA side has lost, no matter whether the judge was appointed by a Democrat or a Republican,” wrote the Washington Post Fact Checker in February 2022, awarding “Four Pinocchios” to claims by then-Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) that the Archivist was obligated to certify the ERA as part of the Constitution.

Earlier this week, NRLC sent a letter to the U.S. Senate, urging a nay vote on the unconstitutional ERA-revival measure.

The recent history of judicial, executive, and legislative actions on the Equal Rights Amendment is documented in detail in the NRLC Special Report on the Equal Rights Amendment (January 23, 2023).