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Media Advisory: Ignoring Federal Court Rulings, Rep. Cori Bush and Allies Dust Off the Long-Expired “Equal Rights Amendment” as a Political Prop

Mar 28, 2023 | 2023 Press Releases, Press Releases, Press Room

WASHINGTON (March 28, 2023) – Congresswomen Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and others are today announcing new gimmicks to try to perpetrate the urban legend that the long-expired 1972 Equal Rights Amendment is still eligible to become part of the Constitution.

Bush and Pressley said that they will hold a press conference today, at Noon, to announce formation of an “Equal Rights Amendment Caucus.” Bush also said that she would join an event at the National Archives Museum on Constitution Avenue to engage in “civil disobedience” on behalf of the ERA.

“The Equal Rights Amendment irrevocably expired decades ago, and those who argue otherwise have suffered an unbroken 41-year string of defeats in the federal courts,” said Douglas Johnson, director of the ERA Project of the National Right to Life Committee. “The unconstitutional resolutions advanced by the ERA revivalists will not pass in the Senate or in the House, and in any event would have no legal effect. The authority of Congress over the 1972 ERA ended when Congress submitted it to the states a half-century ago.”

Johnson added, “On February 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously demolished a key legal claim of the ERA revival scheme—the pretense that the ERA’s ratification deadline was not binding because it was not placed in the proposed constitutional text.”

(The court observed (p. 25), “[I]f that were the case, then the specification of the mode of ratification in every amendment in our nation’s history would also be inoperative.”)

“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. Johnson added, “With the unanimous February 28 D.C. Circuit decision rejecting the claim that the ERA has been ratified, the ERA-revivalist cult is now 0 for 29 among federal judges who have had an opportunity to act or vote on ERA-revivalist legal claims.”

Mr. Johnson can be reached at djohnson@nrlc.org or (202) 626-8825.